9:00 PM | June 1 2019
Urban Rigger: Denmark Thinks inside the box
How a Danish entrepreneur used shipping containers as one solution to a shortage of student housing in Copenhagen.
The pursuit of knowledge is an admirable thing. Unfortunately, reality has a nasty habit of getting in the way.
In Denmark, for instance, more people are applying for higher education than ever before. The only problem is that there’s nowhere for them to live.
This situation isn’t unique to Denmark, but what makes Denmark unique is that, in the capital city of Copenhagen, an unexpected solution has popped up.
Urban Rigger is the brainchild of Danish entrepreneur Kim Loudrup, who came up with the idea when he experienced Copenhagen’s lack of student housing first-hand as he tried to
find accommodation for his university-bound son.
To help turn his vision into reality, Kim joined forces with local architect Bjarke Ingels, who is famous for his unconventional and sustainable designs. Before long, Urban Rigger was up and running.
Instead of using bricks and mortar, Kim and Bjarke used shipping containers. And instead of applying for planning permission in the already overcrowded city streets, they used
Urban Rigger comprises nine shipping containers, which are stacked on a floating base and docked at Copenhagen harbour. These nine containers include 12 bright studio flats shared over two levels.
Each student residence is between 23 and 27 square metres in size. Inside, the latest technology keeps costs down and living standards as high as possible.
The containers are joined using large sheets of glass and angled to create a shared garden in the centre of the floating base. The flat roofs of the three containers on the upper level each have a different function: one provides a roof terrace, one is covered in grass and the other is fitted with solar panels, which help provide heat and power and contribute to Urban Rigger’s CO2-neutral claims.
The 220m2 pontoon basement consists of 12 storage rooms, a large lounge with kitchen, a technical room, and a fully automated shared laundry.
Now that the first Urban Rigger has been successfully launched, Kim and Bjarke hope the concept can be spread out over the city.
Urban Rigger is also being planned for Gothenburg in Sweden, as well as other European countries.
The project is reminiscent of the now-discontinued ReStart shipping container mall in New Zealand’s Christchurch, created in 2011 after a devastating earthquake destroyed the city’s central shopping area.
Smart, sustainable and attainable, sometimes when a problem presents itself, the best solution is found by thinking inside the box.