Almanakken – a visionary project
A new vision project called Almanakken (the almanac) rethinks the way we live – and the way we connect communities.
The name of the project, the Almanac, makes reference to the changing seasons and the circular regularity of nature.
Definition of an almanac
An almanac is an annual publication listing a series of events that will happen in the coming year. It contains information such as weather forecasts, sowing dates for farmers, tide tables and other tabular data, often structured around the calendar. Celestial bodies and various statistics can be found in almanacs, such as the rising and setting times for the sun and moon, dates of eclipses, hours of high and low tides, etc.
Our Almanakken concept has been developed as a reinterpretation of the traditional location-based almanac calendar. Almanakken is a method and architectural approach that establishes the community at the same time as defining the architecture. The architectural typology is a microcosm, where the ground floor unites the landscape and community, and the upper section – a continuous wooden structure – offers individual dwellings with high spatial quality.
A good neighbourhood
A common walkway is often a troublesome element in a building. Walking past other people’s windows and doors on your way to your own front door can be a difficult thing to tackle – but in a community, it is the very foundation for developing good neighbourly relations.
The walkway has pockets in front of each home, making space for each household to utilise. Residents can sit and enjoy the morning and evening sun, while greeting neighbours as they come and go. It is a small, active edge zone that helps promote interaction.
1. The courtyard/ground floor houses various common facilities, such as orangeries, workshops, boat sheds, a guesthouse, garden houses and eating areas.
2. Given the natural architectural qualities of the roof level, the project’s three different home sizes will each have their own spatial expression and quality based on the way they are fitted into the roof structure.
3. The roof level is the semi-private part of the community. The desire is to create a roof balcony where the balance between intimacy and openness gives residents optimal conditions for spending time there during the day.
”Communities often do best when they are defined and manageable. If they become too big, we easily lose the sense of belonging and responsibility that is the foundation for sharing a universe. It is also our experience that the community thrives best when it is not something that is expected of others, but stands as an attractive daily alternative. This awareness has guided us in our work on the project”
Karl-Martin Buch Frederiksen, Sweco Architects.
Almanakken as a microcosm
The residential communities are grouped in clusters – each centred around its own common courtyard. The clusters are bound together by a larger urban landscape space, where communities of varying size and content create an exciting landscape connection across the complex.
1 / Information – knowledge from Almanakken
We develop Almanakken in consultation with the future residents and locals, to work out what functions the building should have. This means that the community begins before the building is completed. We have defined four steps to creating Almanakken: read, start, identify and shape.
2 / Read the surroundings
The landscape in the specific area where Almanakken is being built is key to how the ground floor community is structured. Each project therefore always starts by reading the area’s scenic character and quality.
3 / Start the community
The courtyard connects the building with the surrounding landscape through the openings linked to the common functions. These functions are positioned to create the greatest possible synergy in interaction with the landscape.
4 / Identify the functions
The ground floor and courtyard are the focal point for the residents and their communal life. The functions around which the community is built derive from Almanakken. They are based on the nature of the area, the interests of residents and the existing communities in the local area.
5 / Form the courtyard
The modern courtyard is based on a shared-space principle, where parking spaces can be converted into workshops, function rooms and communal dining rooms. The courtyard is open to the surrounding landscape, with openings all around.