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  • Beta Architecture
    studio specialized in
    unbuilt architecture

Our work.
Collection.
  • Adaptation of vacant commercial spaces in potential homes through the involvement of Airbnb
  • Team . Sofia Musatti
  • Client . Unknown
  • Status . Academic Project (2017)
  • Location . Umeå, Sweden

This study has identified the meaning of home and its importance for the developing of personal identity of the ongoing growing floating population.

The city of Umeå is the University pole in the Swedish region of Norrland. Lots of new students arrive each year and the University is not able to guarantee accommodations for everyone, furthermore temporary workers have the same problem of finding a dwelling.
The challenging issue for the floating population in Umeå is the difficulty of finding an affordable and available dwelling where the rights of security, sanitary and civic belonging are assured at a reasonable price.

Airbnb is the easiest way to find a temporary room in Umeå. However, the investigation of Airbnb has shown that nowadays a regulation is needed in order to limits its damages and exploit its potentialities.

The proposal foresees a design which includes the re-use of local vacant buildings as transitory solution for these people and a collaboration between Airbnb and the local Municipality in order to enhance the relationship between the city and its citizens. The design might adjust to the existing morphology of the building and it will change from space to space. As a matter of fact, it is necessary to have a movable and flexible technology. Whenever the owner of the space wants to start a commercial activity again it will be useful if the technology is detachable, packed and transported somewhere else with the minimum economical loss.

Each tenant have the possibility of renting a smaller room on Airbnb together with another tenant. The circumstances of renting through Airbnb will be subordinated to clear rules stated in the contract, in the interest of avoiding business-making. The incoming money can be used to finance the rent and the tenant’s personal lifestyle. The association will ask a percentage on the profit in order to finance the activities of the civic workshop.

Through the use of different building technology the realisation of the first rooms can become an educational workshop for the students of the school of Architecture of Umeå.

This could lead to a collective practise done by students who build for other students. Afterward the first accomplished rooms could be rented on Airbnb in order to finance the rest of the project.

Taking into account that a house is not always a home the project explores the domestic dimension of commercial spaces and it proposes a change of use during their inactive period. The home transforms into a hybrid, a place for contact with the community, friction and also discussion.