Passive Houses by Kjellgren Kaminsky



Swedish architects Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture have designed a series of four prefabricated low-energy houses.


The Passive Houses, which were presented at the Hem & Villa housing fair in Malmö, Sweden earlier this month, are well-insulated homes that require minimal heating.


"Passive houses are extremely well-insulated buildings that are largely heated by the energy already present in the building - people and our household equipment generate a lot of energy," says Joakim Kaminsky of Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture. "Now we will make these buildings achievable for everyone."


Here are some short descriptions of each house from Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture:

VILLA SADELTAK (above and below)
AREA: 160m²

We are just moving into our new house. In the area theres a mix of old and new buildings. We wanted our house to fit in among the others, but still have a modern touch. Now when the house is built it looks as if it where a younger relative to its neighbours. The main characteristics are the same; the volume of the house with its ridged roof, the plaster facade and the pan tile but if one looks closer there are many differences as well. White plain plaster in combination with black plain pan tiles gives the house a minimalistic monolithic volume. The windows are positioned to support a modern floorplan.



VILLA VY (above and below)
AREA: 200m²

Our whole family lies on the couch playing. We are in what we call the living room, bur really the whole bottom floor is one big room. There are no here doors, instead the rooms float into each other seamlessly. It makes the house seem bigger than it really is. On the upper floor are our bedrooms. Right now we use one of them as a working room, so there room for the family to grow. In a couple of years we will probably have moved the computer to the hall outside, there’s a built in work place for it with a view.

Did you know that you can lower your energy consumption by placing bookshelves and wardrobes by the facade? They will work as an extra layer of insulation and save both energy and money. That’s why all the storage are placed along the facades in this house. Between the shelves and wardrobes there are high windows giving contact to the nature outside and letting in light.


VILLA ATRIUM (top images)
AREA: 160 m²

The autumn is closing in, but its still warm in the sun. Its Sunday morning and I'm reading the newspaper in the kitchen. From here I can see almost the whole house. The kitchen and the living room form one big open room. From there two corridors running along the atrium connects it with the bedrooms. If I look into the atrium I can see the doors to the bedrooms on the other side, there our kids are still fast asleep, they stayed up a bit too long yesterday watching movies in our home cinema. On the middle of the atrium stands an apple tree. The apples are ripe and looks like red Christmas balls on the tree. I walk out and start picking them, today the whole family will have apple pie for breakfast!


VILLA VINKEL (above and below)
AREA: 150 m²

I sit in our living room looking out. It almost feels as if I'm outside. The room forms a large open space together with the kitchen. Its formed as an L that protects our garden and offers a view over the endless fields outside. In the middle of the space there's a piece of furniture containing the kitchen, wardrobes, storage and the dining table. One can walk around the piece. On the backside of it there's the bedrooms with storage and bathrooms close at hand.


Posted on Wednesday March 19th 2008 at 12:37 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Robert-Jan

    The ideas of Buckminster Fuller live on!

  • Joaquin

    I find nothing interesting in these projects. Not even the renderings. Sorry.

  • zetre

    Thank you, Joaquin, for letting the world take part of your profound architectural criticism.

  • Ben

    quite agree, with zetre, its not about slick renderings, and rather understand why its not interesting. We could just see lots more zaha….boring…, better to see what going in the minds of people trying to solve real issues, or even rejuvinate Bukminster dymaxion ideals, although I am not sure how efficient the round porefab footprint will be in urban environments.

  • malique

    OK, not everyone here are some super cool “architects” or “designers” who all know better and trash the competition with some childish comments. I know you guys have to compete, but your cat fights are sometimes anoying and primitive. It’s sad that academics tend to such behaviour. If you don’t have anything interessting to write don’t write it at all. Stop ripping the skies with your noses and go do something!

  • federico testa

    actually i agree with joaquin. they could have done some more effort just in thinking about an idea first.

  • dohdaniel

    I would love to live in the first circular house!

  • zuy

    As Joaquin Says, concept? shape (round house is not easy to furnish)? renderings are not great ?

  • Architecture Nowadays…

    Thank you god for bad renders. Maybe we can see behind them and probably think about design for a while…

    For me a well insulated house is not too much for inovation. I think it is standard practice everywhere.

    However, how I wish everything could be at least like this… simple and effective.

    What I would like to know is what makes them passive.

    Malique, if you didn’t have something interesting to write about, why did you do it?

  • zuy

    I know a round house that follow the sun… private house with innovative green roof… aso What’s new in this house?

  • zuy

    passive house is great topic for future-friendly…

  • zuy

    zero energy house is an other topic and the article is about both low energy and passive house…

  • zuy

    Moma, NYC will exhibit 63 prefabricated houses…

  • i would like to know what is the material of the roof in the first house?

    i like it very much!

    i would like an anwser please!

    i say goodbye and hoping i ear from you again.



  • actually… after reading the coments of Joaquim and federico i think they are very boring!!!!

    Theu don’t have imagination for nothing!

    Sorry but those houses are absolutely Ugly!!!

  • Just two things,

    first of, the renderings might not be as photorealistic as some of you guys like them to be, but they are of great quality. They all have the same style and if you look closely, you can see that they are technicly okay. The shadows are soft and all textures are mapped correctly. To me this indicates that the person who made them was consiously going for this style. I can only guess, but i suspect the architects are not trying to sell these as how the house is going to look when build, but more as a way to illustrate there living concept, wich brings me to the second point:

    On the concept level i agree with some that these buildings are not the biggest conceptual flagships ever designed, but please try and appreciate the effort the architects took to design a nice and livable (not ZAHA -style) home for people in an environment friendly way. It’s not al about building monumental museums and offices, architects also have their responsibility in the way people live in there own houses and how they experience them.
    Just a thought…

  • yrag

    I really think the circular house has a lot going for it. Especially in areas subject to violent storms with high wind gusts. Though not brand new, the living roof is still a nice touch. Add some stairs and a railing you could have a nice private garden or private sunning deck. If the architect added a vented copula (for good house ventilation) tothe open center of his home, a family could have a weather independent private garden. Nice, compact and aesthetic (IMHO)— what’s wrong with that?

  • Hmm, I personally see nothing wrong with the renderings @ all and find the comments about them rather whiny and sad. Fine, the “normally shaped” houses could have perhaps done with more 3D attention, but why does everyone need to see a building in 100% realism??? That’s just being plain closed minded not to mention visually and creatively lazy. The work that has been done more than effectively illustrates the purpose and functionality of the structures.

    With that said, I absolutely love the circular house idea & wish Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture great success in their future endeavors.

    To all the nay-sayers & nit-pickers. Go get a hobby.


  • hi you are vvvv.ggggggggggggg

  • Bob

    Wow dudes, that was amazing!

  • Jaymee

    just wondering the cost of the home that brags ‘no doors’.