Last edited 26 Sep 2016

Urban Rigger


In September 2016, the architecture firm BIG, led by Bjarke Ingels, revealed their designs for low-cost student accommodation.

Urban Rigger involves stacking shipping containers on a floating platform to create a student halls of residence, docked in the harbour of Copenhagen, Denmark.


As a concept, Urban Rigger aims to provide a solution to the 24,000 students who are without residences in Denmark according to the Danish Construction and Housing Ministry. This is only one part of a wider problem, with estimates showing a need for 130,000 more homes by 2020 due to increased urbanisation and population.

Urban Rigger comprises 9 shopping containers which create 15 studio residences over two levels. The idea is that the structure is flexible, mobile and carbon neutral.

The blocks are angled with overlapping ends so as to frame a shared garden in the centre of the platform. The containers are connected by glazed, greenhouse-like spaces. The corrugated metal blocks are painted a bright aquamarine and fitted with windows and entry points.


Each of the upper floor container’s flat roofs have a different function; one provides a terrace, the other has been installed with solar panels, and the other is covered in grass.

BIG partner Kai-Uwe Bergmann said: "In terms of sea level rise... it's the only building type that will never flood. There are few strategies that allow cities to expand. Yet, Copenhagen's harbour remains an under-utilised and underdeveloped area at the heart of the city. By introducing a building typology optimised for harbour cities we can introduce a housing solution that will keep students at the heart of the city."


Images courtesy of Urban Rigger.

For more information, see Urban Rigger.

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