Floatting Housing in Copenhagen

by Elisa Routa

The idea was to develop a revolutionary and innovative floating dwelling system.



Made from upcycled shipping containers, the Urban Rigger is a 680 square meters- floating, C02 neutral and mobile property in the centrally positioned harbor of Copenhagen. 



Delivered in the summer 2016 in Denmark, as the first in a potential fleet of mobile, sustainable dwellings, the shipping containers are upcycled to save on materials, energy, and cost. World renowned architect Bjarke Ingels ( (BIG) used copenhagen’s underutilized harbor and converted shipping containers into homes with modern amenities. "They are highly durable, as containers are made entirely of Corten steel, and their assembly creates a stronger and more durable structure than typical construction methods." says Urban Rigger Founder & CEO Kim Loudrup, at the origin of this visionary project.



With 12 studio residences articulated around a a 160 m2 - shared winter garden, used as a common meeting place for students, the project offers comfortable living space close to the city center. Including a kayak landing, a bathing platform, a barbecue area, solar panels, and a 65 m2-roof terrace,  "the idea was to develop a revolutionary and innovative floating dwelling system that will have a positive impact on the housing situation for students in Europe, as well as completing an attractive untapped and geographically independent niche in the market, “the water ways” – thousands of kilometers of unused quay’s across the harbor, canal and river intensive cities across the world." says the design team. 


Providing affordable and sustainable homes for students in Copenhagen, the Urban Rigger seeks to offer an unconventional architectural solution to the unprecedented and urgent need for student housing. As a response to the unacceptable student housing situation, the Urban Rigger employs a wealth of environmentally sustainable solutions — including hydro source heating, solar power, and low energy pumps. The concept could easily be assembled in floating apartment blocks of varying size as needed and desired. "We offer the patented Urban Rigger concept in all ports, river and canal intensive cities worldwide." Ingels says. "In terms of sea level rise, this is the most resilient form of housing because it moves with the water." With Urban Rigger, Ingels and Loudrup try to turn ports into residential areas, always keeping in mind the complex issue of climate change.




Find more infos about the Urban Rigger project.

Photo: Laurent De Carniere

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