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Foto: Åke E:son Lindman

Ralph Erskine Lådan (The Box)

Ralph and Ruth Erskine’s first home in Sweden is a 20-square-metre house full of ingenious designs. The house, known as Lådan (or box) was moved to Lovön island in 1989 and is now open to the public.

After moving to Sweden, Ralph Erskine built his family home during the cold winter of 1941-42 in Lissma, south of Stockholm. The 20-square-metre Box, as the house became known, is an example of ingenious design in small spaces, with a focus on function and flexibility.

This is an early example of compact living: a fold-down table transforms into a corner office space, a fold-down bed transforms the living area into a bedroom, and at the centre of it all is the fireplace, providing both warmth and a space to sit together.

The house is considered to be of major interest in terms of construction history, and illustrates architectonic development in Sweden. The building is now located on the island of Lovön, on ground utilised by the National Defence Radio Establishment, and is a copy erected by building contractor Reinhold Gustafsson on the initiative of architectural author Olle Bengtzon.

ArkDes entered into an agreement with the National Defence Radio Establishment in 1993, and has been assigned the task of making Lådan available to the general public. ArkDes organises guided tours, but interested persons who work in the field, such as students, researchers or other professionals, can borrow a key and visit individually.

Before visiting individually, you have to sign a policy document stipulating certain regulations.

Policy document

Book a guided tour

Lådan is ArkDes’ contribution to the Open House festival 8 October.

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