On a street in Örebro, Sweden, you’ll find a set of ten solar-powered townhouses, each cleverly placed against each other, creating a picturesque L-shaped development of affordable zero-energy homes. Designed by Street Monkey Architects, the homes use passive building principles and photovoltaic panels to generate all the energy they would need to operate year-round. Additionally, the development’s intriguing roofline instantly caught our eye – in addition to its solar power generation capabilities.
Designer: Street Monkey Architects
Adequately insulated, almost airtight, and with ventilation systems that retain a generous amount of heat, the row of houses is not only well equipped, but also has certain variations and differences in its exterior. For example, the houses on the east-west side feature a stunning jagged roofline and are sloped to capture as much sunlight as possible. They also feature white plaster facades. While the houses on the north-south side feature silver facades and wooden slats to further accentuate the visual variation. This creates a mix of homes that are visually interesting to look at and manage to contrast with each other in a harmonious way. It also provides residents with a sense of identity and reassures them that their home has its own individual character and unique personality.
The two-story, 1,600-square-foot homes are almost entirely solar-powered, and unused energy is stored in on-site batteries, which are then sold back to the grid. They arrive as six modules with finished interiors. They are then erected and linked together, producing a smooth development of the houses, which move effortlessly from one unit to another.
The interiors are beautiful, open and spacious. An airy aura radiates throughout the homes, with a downstairs kitchen open to the dining room, which in turn leads to the living room. Two sets of glass doors in the living room give you access to a terrace, which acts as a natural extension of the living room.
The steel stairs are supported by vertical wires, creating a suspended staircase, which leads you to three bedrooms, a bathroom and a family room on the upper level.
The family room is one of my favorite spaces – a warm, minimal space with natural wood floors and white walls – a great place to relax and connect with your loved ones.
These solar houses are not only spacious, welcoming and exquisitely designed, but they are also very affordable. This is the kind of modern, energy-efficient housing solutions we need in 2022!