Sweden tests tiny wooden pods as the future of college dorms

Every year thousands of Swedish college student are left without housing- for 2015, it’s estimated there were 20,000 “dorm-less” scholars at the start of the year. The university town of Lund in Southern Sweden has been experimenting with building dorms under the minimum size standards.

Designed as the first legal exception to Sweden’s minimum size standard for student housing (25 square meters), the original “Smart Student Flat” was only 8.7 square meters, but it came complete with private kitchen and bathroom and was given high marks from the woman who tested the space for a year in 2013.

In 2014, 22 students moved into version 2.0 of the micro-pods (the BoKompakt). Built from local materials, like cross-laminated wood, the newer units are 10.3 square meters, but they still required an exception to the national minimum size requirement.

“There’s strict construction rules about accessibility nowadays so they need to be bigger than they used to be just because disabled people need to be able to be able to access the apartments as well,” explains Jasmine Kitzing, student housing ombudsman with AF Bostäder. “So all our other apartments, all our other new housing is adjusted to be accessible. But this is a way to kind of negotiate the harsh housing market, so we have to do something to get more units out there.”

The units rent for 2600 krone per month, about $300, nearly half the average cost of student housing in Lund. Kitzing emphasizes that this will never became the standard option for students, but simply an option, and that most of the units the non-profit builds are much larger.

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  1. Missy Rabbit
    November 13, 2016

    That looks pretty roomy. I would change the interior doors to bifold or pocket doors. Maybe add a small skylight. It is really cute.

  2. Zheng Yang
    November 28, 2016

    I just want say fuck off to those who think 10m2 is small, I lived in a 15m2 dorm with other 5 students in China, I fucking hated it, it feels like a fucking concentration camp.

  3. Torben Hellborn
    November 28, 2016


  4. Lucas Abreu
    December 16, 2016

    I love the style of the bed in the top of the bedroom. Now I want one like this.

  5. Lady T
    January 7, 2017

    How much for this dorm?

  6. Synick
    January 24, 2017

    These look really fun to live in, while still giving students privacy to study, change, and breathe. I wasn't crazy about the bathroom, but it really beats having to share it with 3 other girls, like my daughter does right now (and she gets stuck cleaning, since she gives in first). There's just enough space. Also, these 2 are ridiculously attractive. Wth, Sweden? Ahem, back on topic, it's not really smaller than the space you'd have to yourself in a traditional dorm, and there's so much more packed into them. If you want to socialize, it looks like there's plenty of room on the decks too. Great concept!

  7. Alan Fallows
    January 31, 2017

    A pantry is a large cupboard or small walk in space to store food, dry goods, tins, jars. You call that a kitchenette in English.

  8. Sara Girão
    February 15, 2017

    You came to Sweden! 😀

  9. Tresfres
    February 19, 2017

    the guy's accent is adorable

  10. jukes243
    March 16, 2017

    Jay Jay is correct.

  11. Saxonvoter
    March 21, 2017

    I could live there if it was cheap enough.

  12. liu shunan
    April 1, 2017

    to be honest, i love this small apartment! it's really nice!

  13. Fabiana Tapp
    April 5, 2017

    The bathroom problem can easily be solved by using a shower curtain.

  14. Nico Barrack
    April 10, 2017

    this is way bigger than American dorms!! and we have 2-4 a room!

  15. thatkindofwoman
    April 14, 2017

    Very nice and functional design! Would've loved to live here instead of a dorm with shared bathrooms!

  16. Cassandra Peters
    April 29, 2017

    honestly, after spliting a dorm room with a roomate… you have less space than those apartments… I would have LOVED one of those!

  17. g.e. g.e.
    May 12, 2017

    Toronto's housing situation is ridiculous. An ugly matchbox sells for a million. I'd rather be in Arizona, with better weather, etc., where you can buy a house 3 times larger than the ones in Toronto for a quarter of the price.

  18. Trinity Kay
    May 14, 2017

    This is so cute, the problem for housing students is everywhere I quess, they should have this too here in the Netherlands! At least this is way better than living with other people and sharing everything.

  19. oxy 75
    May 19, 2017

    I would make sure to take the toilet paper out of the bathroom every time I took a shower

  20. nickarcher03
    June 1, 2017

    1:29 Every student's need: Alcohol

  21. Shaina Trotter
    June 8, 2017

    why dont they just build apartment buildings???

  22. anal banana
    June 16, 2017

    isn't community living much better than pods? you share kitchen, bathroom, shower areas so you can fit many more bedrooms in the building. This might also help with the growing isolation issue among young swedes who grow
    up to be depressed and have poor social skills.

  23. PutThatThingBackWhereItCameFrom
    June 18, 2017

    yes please make it more accessible to the disabled

  24. Afifa Ahmad
    June 28, 2017

    way too small, i have seen small apartments like real small 50sqft but this is just crazy

  25. Simon Kefas
    July 13, 2017

    In Stockholm the green party pushed to make the area around the university a protected parc so no new housing for students. In Sweden, there is no shortage of land for development but red tape and conflicting political interest makes housing really expensive and creates a shortage.

  26. Mick Gardner
    July 24, 2017

    2600 krone per month is very expensive for 10.3 square meters home ! But when you know that it is for a limited time, I guess that you pay and try to stay happy.

  27. Ernst Johannes
    August 11, 2017

    Why does nobody mention how cute he is!?!?!

  28. Noeraldin Kabam
    August 27, 2017

    A little bigger can be build just as fast. This is claustrophobic.

  29. Julian Ayala
    August 28, 2017

    Thinking fast and Slow 🙂 FTW

  30. Anni IntheWoods
    September 22, 2017

    Super cosy and intelligent use of space 🙂

  31. Christy B
    October 15, 2017

    My daughter would take this over her dorm in a heartbeat! Great design!

  32. Julia M
    October 24, 2017

    Why no roommates? In US universities, two kids would share a space that size, and wouldn't have a kitchen or bathroom – those are shared.

  33. Andy M
    November 12, 2017

    Why do Swedes sound like they have American accents?

  34. oldman baller50
    November 17, 2017

    I would’ve rather lived there than with my idiot college roommate

  35. Chris K
    November 18, 2017

    The interviewer's incredulity regarding the wet bathroom is strange for someone from a European country. Wet bathrooms are common in Greece, Italy, France, Spain… she must be American. Anything they haven't seen before is something to mock.

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