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New prefab housing from Bjarke Ingels aims to blend in with the landscape

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It sits on the edge of a national park in Stockholm

Aerial shot of wooden building Photo by Laurian Ghinitoiu courtesy BIG

When Bjarke Ingels Group announced a few years back that it would be constructing an apartment complex on the periphery of Sweden’s Gärdet national park, it sounded like a tricky proposition. After all, no one wants to see a massive hunk of glass and metal during their leisurely stroll.

Now, the prefab building—79 & Park—in Stockholm is done, and it’s managed to avoid the pitfalls of real estate edging into nature by mimicking nature itself.

Woman and dog in green field with building in background Photo by Laurian Ghinitoiu courtesy BIG
Wooden building with large glass windows Photo by Laurian Ghinitoiu courtesy BIG

The cedar-clad building rises gently from the ground like a sloping wooden hill. BIG stacked 196 apartments (called “pixels”) on top of each other in a terrace layout, leaving room for outdoor green roofs that help the building blend into its park surroundings. The cubic scheme is similar to a recent prefab affordable housing project BIG completed in Copenhagen.

Wooden building with courtyard Photo by Laurian Ghinitoiu courtesy BIG

Cleverly, each side of 79 & Park is a different height—the volume of apartments closest to the park is the shortest. From there, the building rises to the height of the neighborhood’s surrounding buildings, giving all residents an unobstructed view of the park.

Photo by Laurian Ghinitoiu courtesy BIG