MySpace student housing in Trondheim
by MEK Architects

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This student housing block in Norway by MEK Architects is named MySpace, as the architects imagined the building as a social network where each of the 116 residents can get to know one another (+ slideshow).

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Above: photograph is by Matthias Herzog

MEK Architects, comprising Spanish studio Murado & Elvira and architect Enrique Krahe, designed the housing block for the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim as part of the Europan housing design competition.

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Above: photograph is by Matthias Herzog

Rather than group the building into separate apartments, the team decided to create large social areas that would unite every student, including a large lounge and a shared kitchen where everyone has their own separate storage area and fridge.

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

"The shared kitchen is the space where common life is negotiated," explain architects Juan Elvira, Clara Murado and Enrique Krahe, and they describe how this ground floor space is used for social activities such as pancake contests and cooking seminars.

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

A lounge occupies most of the first floor and is divided into different areas, which students are encouraged to customise to suit their day-to-day activities.

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Above: photograph is by Matthias Herzog

"The building can be looked upon as something that is unfinished, because it calls for permanent completion by its inhabitants in the search for a more satisfying community life," say the architects.

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Bedrooms line one edge of this lounge and also fill the four floors above, while study areas are positioned in the corridors and on balcony terraces, allowing students to easily work in groups.

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

The building is located at the end of two existing housing blocks and copies the roof pitches of its neighbours.

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

The facade is clad with pine and is painted in shades of grey and black.

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Other student housing projects on Dezeen include a building modelled on a stack of baskets and a tower block with a patchwork of brown panelling on its facade.

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

See more stories about student housing »

Photography is by Miguel de Guzman, apart from where otherwise stated.

Here's an explanation from MEK Architects:


‘MySpace’ student’s housing in Trondheim (Norway) is the outcome of a winning entry of Europan 9 by MEK Architects, Clara Murado, Juan Elvira and Enrique Krahe. The competition brief called for a student house between the Nidelva River and the main University Campus.

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

MySpace residence proposes the compression, transfer and conditioning of the relational capacities of urban space. Soon the client (a student-run association named SIT that looks after student room availability) showed the need to fit in some extra 40% rooms within the original volume, also lowering the already tight budget.

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Above: photograph is by Matthias Herzog

Assuming the existing urban conditions, the student housing detaches as much as possible from the surrounding buildings and shapes its volume in order to extract potential from the views and sun. Open-air terraces are spread around the building. Through them, students can experience outside conditions and relate with the city and the far views.

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

In order to stress a local initiative that intends to promote Trondheim as a wood-friendly city, and also seeking new challenges about wood use in large buildings, the entire exterior volume of the building is cladded with fir (pine) wooden planks, displaying different treatments, compositions and layouts.

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

As a result of a special regulation that considers Elgesetergate as a road instead a street, no windows for rooms are allowed to be opened on that elevation. The front and the rear are thus conceived as thick containing membranes, while only corridors and lounge are able to look over the street.

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

The core of the building contains a multipurpose lounge with no hierarchy, or spatial definition, in which different ambiances are located. Room floors surround this lounge. The general layout is articulated by stripes occupying the space as they approach or distance the existing limits. Rooms mimic the building's internal scheme, structured in functional bands (storage, prefabricated bathroom and a bed).

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Since the construction started, and more details about the building were made public, a vibrant debate arose among residents-to be in specialized blogs and social networks. Architecture has still a long path to explore collecting data and seeking ways of transferring feedback into the making, just as information architects or videogame designers would do.

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Above: ground floor plan - click above for larger image

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Above: first floor plan - click above for larger image

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Above: second and third floor plan - click above for larger image

Above: fourth floor plan - click above for larger image

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Above: fifth floor plan - click above for larger image

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Above: roof plan - click above for larger image

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Above: cross section - click above for larger image

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Above: cross section evacuation stairs - click above for larger image

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Above: cross section - click above for larger image

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Above: longitudinal section - click above for larger image

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Above: south elevation - click above for larger image

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Above: east elevation - click above for larger image

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Above: north elevation - click above for larger image

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Above: east elevation - click above for larger image

MySpace student housing in Trondheim by MEK Architects

Above: exploded axonometric diagrams - click above for larger image

  • Chris

    Christ! I’m currently studying architecture at uni and this is a far cry from my current living accommodation. It begets me why no one’s thought of a central common room yet. Maybe they have but from my viewing of several blocks, I’ve not seen a single one that does.

    One thing that scares me is the cost as I’m living in some sub-standard accommodation and the rates are extortionate. Not that student blocks need to be too sociable, add alcohol to any student accommodation and you’ll meet loads of people in no time.

  • http://twitter.com/amkianjaya @amkianjaya

    MySpace? So it will be deserted in the next five years or so and the occupants move either to Facebook or Twitter residence?

  • Ran

    This looks depressing.

  • Nico

    The exterior is very cool, but the interior is so boring. I’m sorry, but it really looks like they’ve gone for the cheapest possible design inside. Especially the air conditioning, it looks like it has been retrofitted after the plans were made.

  • http://www.renderingofarchitecture.com Raul Alfaro

    Very good housing project. Modern, singular and with a very personal style and design. The forms and volumes are very atractive, specially the diferent window compositions in front. Inner spaces are very atractive too, with strong colors and very nice materials and furniture. Excelent job by the photographer with a lot of images and very good plan information – really complete.

  • john

    It’s like: “How to completely ruin a corner and corrupt the sense of taste of entire student generations.”