A livingroom built inside the hollow, under a pier
June 2, 2009 11:42 AM   Subscribe

The room in the pier. Somewhere in Malmö, inside a pier, photographer Nils-Petter Löfstedt and carpenter Erik Vestman have been building a livingroom since January. Why? Why not? I might even have walked on it, not knowing that underneath the grey concrete lies a livingroom with white walls and oak wood floors. The duo will reveal its location on Friday and let the room meet its destiny. "Perhaps someone will move in here?" Erik muses in his written diary of the project.

The duo would bike out to the pier late at night, swim through the water, crawl in through the tiny opening and then begin building "as quietly as possible so as to not disturb the guys fishing on the pier". Erik kept a written diary of the project, while Nils-Petter photographed. Two entries read:
Feb: "It's strange that sometimes I stop and hold my breath when I hear someone walking above us. As if what we are doing is dangerous. Or evil. When it really should be wonderful. To reclaim a dirty old rotten hole and create something that is useful."

May: "At four a.m. when Petter crawled out to see that the coast was clear before we'd start on nailing in the wood, there was a crazy early-bird fisherman out there. So we had to crawl back in again, pack all of our stuff as quietly as possible and go home"

They've dug out old seaweed, raised the ceiling, added a classic security door and a window, laid the floors and even made a shelf out of an old mast that they found deep inside the pier. "It's probably from an old shipwreck" said Nils-Petter to Sydsvenskan Swedish only.
posted by dabitch (22 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Didn't some people build an apartment in an unused space in a parking garage a while ago?

Perhaps this can be the new urban trend, ultra-chic lofts in random places.
posted by selenized at 11:52 AM on June 2, 2009

Gotta love that sense of whimsy here. It's like the ultimate hideout and party room to pretend you and your lover are a million miles from Earth. I'm totally jealous.
posted by Skygazer at 11:56 AM on June 2, 2009

I don't understand, where's the TV?
posted by poppo at 11:57 AM on June 2, 2009

Clever, but I gotta say, I'm guessing it'll be destroyed by water inside of a year.
posted by aramaic at 11:59 AM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Didn't some people build an apartment in an unused space in a parking garage a while ago?

Do you mean the apartment that was built on the sly in a mall? I love that story.
posted by hecho de la basura at 12:03 PM on June 2, 2009

When do they move in the IKEA furniture?
posted by ericb at 12:06 PM on June 2, 2009 [3 favorites]

Salon article on the secret mall parking garage apartment.

And while I can't find the original article, here's a (previously discussed) bit about a homeless Chicago man who built a secret apartment (with electric) on the underside of a drawbridge.
posted by fings at 12:25 PM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

They reclaim public space ... and put locks on the door.
posted by srt19170 at 12:32 PM on June 2, 2009 [3 favorites]

I also thought of that apartment in the mall, on the blue previously, and of the Brooklyn turtle submarine.
posted by exogenous at 12:38 PM on June 2, 2009

a homeless Chicago man who built a secret apartment (with electric)...

Brings to mind Dark Days, the documentary "revealing a thriving community living in tunnels beneath New York City." Many had their own huts/homes with electricity, etc.
posted by ericb at 12:39 PM on June 2, 2009

MetaFilter: "somewhere between the torso and the Bridge"
posted by Sys Rq at 1:03 PM on June 2, 2009

Loving the links everyone, I posted this partly because I just knew that similar examples would pop up in the thread y'all rock. The homeless lair underneath a drawbridge is fit for a quirky villain:
When the bells rang, signaling the arms of the bridge soon would ascend, he braced for a ride and cruised with the bridge as it slowly pitched him forward. If he was sitting down, he'd soon be standing. "The first time it was scary," Dorsay said in an interview. "After that, it was almost like riding a Ferris wheel."
posted by dabitch at 1:20 PM on June 2, 2009

Some really unsafe circular-saw technique at 2:48 - 2:41.
posted by nicwolff at 1:30 PM on June 2, 2009

Cool. But Why not? Because it's a waste of time, money, energy and resources. Cool though.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:42 PM on June 2, 2009

Another example in Seattle is a guy who appears to be somewhat of a serial builder of secret homes. His most famous example was a tree house, from which he was evicted by the city last year. He did, however, find a new home in an RV, purchased for him by his neighbors/friends for a penny. His pets also have the greatest names ever, btw.
posted by hecho de la basura at 1:47 PM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Some really unsafe circular-saw technique at 2:48 - 2:41.

Oddly enough, it's pretty common for contractors to freehand cut wood like that. It looks like his cut was longer than his grip and made it look awkward, but it's probably something he's done quite a few times before. Doesn't make it safe though.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:52 PM on June 2, 2009

i have a kitchen they can work on next
posted by TrialByMedia at 2:23 PM on June 2, 2009

And regarding the drawbridge lair, this is why we can't have nice things:

"Predictably, it was one of the roommates that ruined his swell deal, telling police about the hidey hole after getting busted for stealing a car."

People suck.
posted by barc0001 at 3:42 PM on June 2, 2009

Thanks dabitch and supplementary link providers. Great stuff.
posted by peacay at 5:45 PM on June 2, 2009

Malmö! God I have unhappy memories from there.

I'm trying to picture this there and... I can't. But it does look very cool. Have to agree about the likely watery end to it, though.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:37 PM on June 2, 2009

It’s well, uh, nice, what with the white walls, floors and all. I keep thinking about mold. Then comes high tide, water rushing in through that tiny door, and then waiting for death to come in claustrophobic darkness. I’m cool on the idea but I want air and another exit. I’m more of a view and fresh air sort favoring tree houses, windmills, fire lookouts, and old water tank houses. Last year my son and friends took my old cast off easy chair and hoisted it into the top of an olive tree. The boys slept all summer there, taking turns in the chair. When the wind blew, they said, the old chair would rock. Die like that, not in some old stinky rat hole. "Better to fall from the clouds," a Brazilian poet once said. "than to fall from the third floor."
posted by BillyElmore at 10:33 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

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