Boxhome by Rintala Eggertsson Architects



Boxhome is a small, residential project in Oslo by Norwegian architects Rintala Eggertsson.


The 19 square metre dwelling is described by the architects as being "a peaceful small home, a kind of urban cave".


It is constructed using a timber frame and is clad in aluminium. Internally, a different species of wood was chosen for each room.


Here's some more information from Rintala Eggertsson:


In the North all residential buildings have to be constructed in an advanced way due to the ever-changing weather. Additionally, houses have to be artificially heated for more than half of the year. Therefore producing smaller homes would bring about a considerable economical and ecological benefit. Today the construction industry is responsible for more than one third of total global energy and material consumption, well exceeding that of all traffic and transport. This should be a crucial question especially in Scandinavia, where people, in accordance with their growing wealth, possess larger and larger houses. And in most cases, this is in addition to a second home called a summer house or a cottage.


Boxhome is a 19 square metre dwelling with four rooms covering the basic living functions: kitchen with dining, bathroom, living room and bedroom.


Firstly, the project focuses on the quality of space, materials and natural light, and tries to reduce unnecessary floor area. The result is a dwelling which is a quarter of the price of any same size apartment in the same area. Boxhome is a prototype building, yet the same attitude could be taken further to bigger family housing and consequently to work places.


The basic need to house a family has become a great business adventure. Making a simple house, after all, is perhaps not such a difficult task. Moreover, meeting the official construction restrictions and laws usually means the use of building industry products and services, thus limiting the possibility of real change and development.


Thirdly, in Western societies at the moment we are enjoying the highest standard of living ever know to human kind. At the same time we are fully informed of the results of our culture of consumerism. Therein lays the greatest paradox: We are forced to actively forget the real reality to be able to enjoy the facade of excess we have created around us.


Finally, and most importantly, the goal has been to make a peaceful small home, a kind of urban cave, where a person can withdraw to, and whenever they wish, forget the intensity of the surrounding city for a while.





Client: Galleri ROM, Maridalsveien 3, Oslo, Norway.
Curator: Henrik de Menassian

Work group:
Sami Rintala, architect Oslo
Dagur Eggertson, architect Oslo
John Roger Holte, artist Oslo
Julian Fors, architect student Vienna

Aspelin-Ramm/ funding
Infill/ funding
Ruukki/ metal facades
Pilkington Floatglass/ windows
Optimera Industri/ interior wood
Vitra Scandinavia/ chair and lamps
SM-Lys/ lamps
Byggmakker/ construction material
Glava Isolasjon/ insulation

pine/ structures
cypress/ interior walls and floors
birch/ kitchen
spruce/ bathroom
red oak/ living room
nut/ bedroom

Size: exterior measures 5500 cm (length) x 5700 cm (height) x 2300 cm (width).

Posted on Sunday January 11th 2009 at 8:11 pm by Rachael Sykes. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • I’d rather live in the old building behind this. The design is outstanding but not something I would want live in. That one photo of the bedroom with the chair seems crazy dangerous with the hole in the floor…

  • very cool. I would feel vulnerable sleeping there. Are there skylights?

  • scruces

    Wow, stunning project.
    Reminds of the clubhouse I always wanted as a child.
    GREAT work!
    Thanks Dezeeen

  • rodger

    overwhelmingly creepy and grim.

  • Mowgli

    now thats interesting and different!

  • rik

    Scary beyond all reason.
    Reminds me a the evil twin of Tadao Ando’s the church of light.

  • snow

    It would be really nice if we could read the tiny graphics they seem to have spent so much time preparing.

  • M

    Sami, you are the man!!!!

  • Vla

    “…This love that I tell
    Now feels lonely as hell
    From this padded prison cell.”

  • Joel DW

    This looks like the latest in prison design. Inmates could be housed trans-ported then staked in these units!

  • Nakul

    Very interesting…the gap to the bedroom worries me though..n yeah, the tiny graphics would’ve been nice to see..

  • er

    I’m so tired of pseudo- architecture , with its good looks and no functionality .

  • Matt

    I agree snow. If we could click the images/plans and get an upscaled version to really understand these and other projects it would be great. Design is much more than nice perspectives at 450 pixels. Nice project, anything that questions convention and tests the status quo is always interesting. This has done that with elegance.

  • ststst

    I like that thing, if this would be a prison cell I would get criminal ;)

  • togon

    wouldn’t like the live there but it does look nice, NOT as a house but rather as a guard shed. would love to have one of these guard sheds for my mansion.

  • I find interesting the use of light in the building. The distinct contrast of deep shadow and light filled areas – It’s bareness makes me think of a place one goes to do some deep, deep thinking – I think i’d like to visit this space, but I have to agree, I couldn’t live here.

  • waka

    beautiful! has a very scandinavian feeling
    to the concerns about funtionality – i suppose that this might be exactly what the client wanted. the house is not for everyone, it’s designed to suit the lifestyle of the client.

  • blubbergurke

    I love that description on the first floor when it says “living room”
    on a more serious note. this really pushes the aspect of “boxhome”. it is definately not for everyone’s taste but I could really see this standing outside somewhere in the rocky landscape between a small river and the trees (with a different coating though – the facade and the interior really are from different planets). And when you are tired of the view (very unlikely), you just move on, and take your home with you.

  • too much talent, too much rigor, too much sense.

  • charlotte

    wauw! this is amazing! absolutely beautiful! I! Want! It!

  • It seems like a monk’s shack, as if you were on an urban hermitage. If I lived there, I feel like I would always be filled with a sense of reverence and foreboding.

    It’s actually more inviting in real life, I would imagine, but overall not for me. Its greatest strength I can see is the beautiful materials and unusual layout.

  • sc hu yl er

    I’m not sure about “too much sense,” I mean, the chasm between the bedroom and ladder is sort of baffling…

  • bomzi

    interesting idea but it looks really depressing inside.

  • E

    Seems that people are not understanding the image of the bedroom.
    Look at the section and you’ll see that the bedroom floor is higher up than the floor of the livingroom, making the gap look much bigger in the picture. It’s really just a small step up, no problem!

  • 24601

    Prision Break style !!!!, as said above two families of things collide: the interior and the exterior, strange. Looks like some paranoia done for an art gallery. What happens if i want to the wc in the night?. Depressing and useless. The worst thing is it has been nominated for the Mies Van der Rohe prize. Minimalism at it´s worst.

  • feels extremely claustrophobic from the pictures, and small spaces don’t necessarily need to feel claustrophobic!

  • Peter

    Love it.

  • Laurier-Canada

    L’utilisation de l’espace est tout simplement génial. Suffit d’imaginer cette maison en pleine nature avec une large terrasse et de la verdure et tout l’ensemble prend une couleur si différente de la présentation actuelle. Une maison qui laisse la place à la créativité, merci-merci.

  • as a design, and as an idea …. i love it !

    but functionally -unfortunately- i don’t think it will work …

  • Celine

    I would not live in there! However I would like to applause the graphics and the project, as it’s aiming to be eco-friendly. Maybe we could think of a version a little cozier..

  • rock

    great project, very rigorously designed, + great presentation.

  • jp sartre

    a well-designed suicide chamber….very 'eco' to reduce population too

  • Kathryn

    Reminds me of a prison cell… but very intricate design!

  • Wow, very cool project!

  • BoXhOmE

    How much does this cool thing cost? :D And is it available in Germany?

  • BoXhOmE

    I just love it! It’s comfortable and a cool design in one little “yard”. It’s perfect for rich student’s who could treasure it :D

  • Joella

    If you want to live without any comfort, then this can be a solution.

  • Skarn Bside

    Cave? Looks like jail to me! But, the volume of light really aesthetic. I’d love to experience it but not live there.

  • Patrick James Bayham


  • student

    I guess this would fit way better in some narrow space in Tokyo with the actual need for a tiny home. It seems kind of lost where it stands now.