Everyday architecture has little to do with large architectural competitions, monumental iconic landmarks and ostentatious construction projects. Everyday architecture prevails most of the time. It is anonymous and difficult to define yet extremely specific. This type of architecture is usually overlooked but remains indispensable in our lives. In times when politicians even in the relatively rich Scandinavian countries are preoccupied with attenuating the effects of the economic crisis, it is all the more important to concentrate on having a good life. In an abstract sense, this is about designing our lives in such a way that we are healthy and safe, whereby retention and further development of the welfare model plays a key role. Realising these values in the built environment can look back on a long tradition. In fact, focussing on everyday architecture is an essential component of state architectural policy in Norway and Denmark.
And Agrob Buchtal is involved in several projects which represent typical everyday architecture. In Örnsköldsvik on the Gulf of Bothnia in northern Sweden, architect Gert Wingårdh has developed a soaring residential complex in the town. Wingårdh is regarded as one of the most interesting architects Sweden has to offer, arranging a playful building with “birdhouses” on the outside and windows facing in three directions on top of the old town hall, originally a rough concrete block. The facade features bright green, red, yellow and white KeraTwin® tiles mounted on a metal substructure. The colour range is inspired by the Swedish expressionist painter Bengt Lindström of international renown. The “birdhouses” project at various lengths from the main building and create a shadow effect similar to the reliefs in Lindström’s paintings. The sculptural and dramatic residential complex in the otherwise low-rise architecture on the Gulf of Bothnia is a colourful example of everyday architecture.