BIG Rigs Housing Solution

Urban Riggers uses stacked, floating shipping containers to demonstrate an economical solution to the urgent need for affordable student housing in the heart of the dense, urban hub of Copenhagen.

Urban Riggers is making a splash—literally. A floating hub of shipping containers refitted as student housing for the University of Denmark was met with critical acclaim last month in Copenhagen, and is now the most de rigueur and affordable student accommodations in the city.

“My oldest son needed a place to live when he was going to university,” Kim Loudrup, cofounder of the Copenhagen housing startup Urban Rigger told World Architecture News. “When we went online to see the availability for student housing in Copenhagen, it dawned on us that it was a nightmare.”

Architect Bjarke Ingels of BIG and partner Kim Loudrup, CEO of Urban Riggers have become BMOC (big men on campus) for conceiving the prototype comprised of nine shipping containers stacked in a circular form. Each three-tiered apartment pod offers 15 studios with private bed, bath and kitchen. The interior void creates a courtyard or winter garden, a gathering space to be enjoyed collectively by the neighbors.

It is reported that the weather-tight construction includes photovoltaic cells for power and an aerogel insulation developed by NASA. Ingels’ unconventional thinking he’s dubbed “hedonistic sustainability,” experiments with the premise of disposing of an over-abundant blight of shipping containers by transforming them into floating dorms. Urban Riggers not only solves a student-housing crisis, it aims to spiff up an underutilized harbor that has suffered industrial decline in recent years. The solution is a strategy transferrable to any seaside urban hub facing an impending housing crisis, while simultaneously addressing resilience to rising sea levels and pollution.

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