miniki, the perfectly camouflaged kitchen

Gotland is a popular holiday island. The climate is mild and the flora and fauna diverse. A rugged coastline with steep cliffs, secluded sandy beaches and the windswept landscape with its swamps and vast forests provide the perfect setting for extended walks and bike rides. But watch out! On Gotland, things are not always as they seem. 

Mysterious earth mounds  

There are for example a number of formations that look like earth mounds but are in fact bunkers dug into the limestone. They are a legacy of the Cold War, when the strategically located northern part of the island was a restricted military area. Now the military has withdrawn and only the bunkers remain. For decades they pretended to be something they’re not. But today they are slowly divulging their secrets and being transformed into something new. 

Building No. 8 in Bungenäs 

One successful example is Building No. 8 in Bungenäs, on the northern peninsula. The Swedish architecture studio Skälsö has converted the bunker into a light-filled summer retreat. After excavating the south side, which faces the sea, they cut open the metre-thick wall and inserted glass doors. The resulting courtyard was enclosed with a limestone wall and is now used as a terrace.  

Minimal interventions 

On the interior as well, the architects intervened only minimally in the bunker’s building fabric. The rough concrete walls, ceilings and floors were kept and merely washed off. The furniture consists mainly of military surplus. Even the new kitchen, a miniki, is a tribute to the summer house’s former life as a bunker. Because it, too, blends into its surroundings, not revealing its true identity to the casual visitor.  

The perfect bunker kitchen 

The miniki’s clean-lined monolithic form is so perfectly integrated into the bunker’s interior that it looks like it has always been there. Its functions are disguised by a lid under which an induction cooktop and sink are hidden when not in use. Even the surface follows the camouflage principle with its military green tone. This makes the miniki the ideal »bunker kitchen«.  

Casa invisible