Peterstorp 3 Malmö

Stig Dranger & David Helldén


  • Dick van Gameren TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment


Within the space of a few years around 1930 urban design in Sweden underwent a radical shift from a romantic, Sittesque to a strictly functionalist style. Traditional, dense urban blocks made way for austere open-row layouts. In the 1940s these were in turn adapted into a more irregular, landscape-inspired open design that won a lot of praise and was much copied in post-war Europe. Competitions and exhibitions helped explore the most cost-efficient and qualitative dwelling types for these new open-row layouts. This led to the development of three main types of stacked housing: the tjockhus (deep block), the smalhus (narrow block) and the punkthus (tower block). The tjockhus can be described as a residential block measuring 14 to 16 m in depth with circulation cores that provide access to three to six apartments per storey. As a result the apartments generally have a single aspect. The smalhus, which is 7 to 9 m deep, is composed of a succession of circulation cores with two apartments per storey, which means that the dwellings receive daylight from two directions. The punkthus is essentially one segment of the tjockhus, with three to six apartments around a single circulation core. The battle between proponents of the tjockhus and smalhus was left undecided; whereas the narrow block’s dual aspect may have been preferable in terms of quality, the deep block was definitely more cost-effective in high-rises exceeding four storeys.

Author Biography

Dick van Gameren, TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment

Dick van Gameren is dean and full professor at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of Delft University of Technology, and partner at Mecanoo architecten in Delft, the Netherlands. Combining his work as an architect with a professorship, Van Gameren maintains a critical approach to design by lecturing, researching and publishing. In 2007, Van Gameren won the prestigious Aga Kahn Award for the design of the Dutch Embassy in Ethiopia. In 2008, Van Gameren founded the book series DASH (Delft Architectural Studies on Housing) and is since then editor in chief. At TU Delft. He leads the Global Housing Study Centre and is also board member of the Archiprix foundation, of the Jaap Bakema Study Centre in Rotterdam and of the Amsterdam based AMS Institute. He is also a member of the TU Delft Global Initiative Steering Committee.