Anders Berensson Architects together whit Lettuce has transformed a boiler room into a meeting place for people while still keeping the technical space fully operating.
Technical spaces such as the boiler room has been a no-go zone for architects during the last decades leaving its architecture in the hands of other professions. Heating systems change in a rapid pace from oil to more environmentally friendly non-fossil systems. These systems are not only better for the planet, they also take less space, generate less noise and smell making the technical space a room for humas to inhabit. When changing the heating system for a big estate in Stockholm from oil to air heat pumps we investigated the possibility to add social spaces when rearranging pipes and machines.
Being on new technical territory mastered by other professions the design and building process became a step-by-step collaboration with different craftsman. Throughout the process we treated the space as a walk through a landscape making punctual interventions when finding a usable space or pipe to build our architecture around. Some interventions where carefully drawn; others were produced through conversations.
Having the opportunity of working at the estate for several years knowing most craftsman we tried to invite all craftsman connected to the building. Even if they did not have an obvious technical reason to be there we could provide an architectural one.
Step 1: To inhabit the space, it needed an entrance, The project started with a stone sculpturer carving out stairs in the rocks to the basement and making six-finger troll welcoming visitors with a candlelight.
Step 2: To create an inhabitable space, pipes and barrels was rearranged with the plumber when upgrading the heating system.
Step 3: Stairs and railings were rearranged to inhabit the space
Step 4: For the biggest space a fireplace was created next to the smoke pipe. The fireplace consists of two yellow brick walls holding two benches and a fireplace.
Step 5: A kitchen was situated next to the draining pipes.
Step 6: A sitting piece and a loft was made from locally harvest wood on a sloping wall by the carpenter.
Step 7: A toilet was added next to the toilet draining pipe, by the bricklayer and plumber.
Step 8: Benches was molded in concrete and seats where tailored.