Shipping containers floated as the next BIG thing in student housing
Though the Bjarke Ingels Group appears to be increasingly associated with, well, big projects like the impressive courtscraper, it's most recently-completed build is on a much smaller scale. The Danish firm used recycled shipping containers to produce a sustainable floating housing prototype for Copenhagen students that it hopes to replicate elsewhere.
The Copenhagen Urban Rigger project comprises nine recycled shipping containers arranged on a floating base in the city's harbor. There's a total of 680 sq m (7,319 sq ft) of floorspace, split between housing, a common winter garden/courtyard, kayak landing point, bathing platform, BBQ area, and seating.
In addition, the student housing includes a communal roof terrace and a basement level with 12 storage rooms, laundry room, and technical room.
Inside, the container apartments look spacious, light-filled, and really quite attractive, certainly a lot more appealing to live in than many of the rundown brick-and-mortar student digs that dot our cities. The simple furnishings and use of unfinished wood contrast well with the large floor-to-ceiling windows that enable residents to gaze upon the harbor.
One obvious concern is insulation. It's something we've brought up before with shipping container architecture, but it's a real Achilles heel for such projects, and living in what's essentially a metal box on the water in the cold Copenhagen winter could prove a grim experience indeed. To address this, BIG lined the containers with a highly-insulating aerogel developed by NASA.
Aside from the environmental benefit of recycling shipping containers, the Urban Rigger project is green in other ways, too. Electricity is produced by a roof-based solar array, while a heat exchanger system uses the seawater it floats on to efficiently heat and cool the interiors.
Monthly rent works out at the equivalent of US$600 and BIG and Urban Rigger (the student housing startup that commissioned the project) aim to refine the prototype and export it to other cities. A 24-unit project is planned for Sweden next, and there's even the possibility that it could be adapted to serve as housing for refugees.