"BoKlok (pronounced "book look", Swedish for "smart living") is Ikea's biggest idea yet. Having seized the market for affordable home furnishings in the past decade, the Swedish retail giant is now planning to provide the homes themselves. They've already built some 3,500 BoKlok dwellings across Scandinavia - and now they're coming to the UK.
Last month, planning permission was approved for the first British BoKlok development: 36 flats in St James Village, Gateshead, due for completion by the end of the year. Each apartment, with two or three bedrooms, is expected to cost less than £100,000. More will follow - many more, probably, since BoKlok is quick to build, energy efficient and aimed at households earning between £15,000 and £30,000 a year. Who's to stop them?"
"BoKlok homes don't exactly come in flatpacks, but they're not far off. The timber-framed buildings are almost entirely prefabricated. They are usually brought to the site on the back of trucks as pre-assembled units, like Portakabins, with the interiors already fitted out. Each apartment is made up of two of these units, which are simply moved into position by crane. Put on the roof and exterior wall cladding, plumb and wire it in, and it's ready to live in. The typical BoKlok arrangement is an L-shaped, two-storey block with three apartments on each floor. One such block can be put up in a day."
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