Urban Rigger

ORGANIZATION NAME: Bjarke Ingels Group

LOCATION: Copenhagen, Denmark

SUMMARY: Urban Rigger is the first floating, carbon neutral housing constructed from upcycled shipping containers and designed for mass production, with the goal of creating an affordable alternative to the rising housing prices in major cities. Multiple units can be configured to fit any port organization, allowing for maximum flexibility.

PROBLEM SPACE: “There is an unprecedented and urgent need for housing in several major cities. While Europe has a projected deficit of more than 4 million student beds by 2025, it is also estimated that 8000 refugees enter the continent every day in search of a new home. Recent years have demonstrated substantial increases in such numbers. Currently, efforts to mitigate these housing shortages struggle with the challenge of expensive land cost, and are not projected to meet future needs.””Recent years have demonstrated substantial increases in numbers of individuals relocating to major cities. Unfortunately, governments fail to act in a timely manner to address the mass influx of people, causing a great shortage in affordable housing. Both student and refugee housing have been neglected, and historically, these types of housing have not been prioritized by investors due to a lack of return. According to the College Planning & Management Magazine’s 2014 College housing Report, traditional construction costs for student housing costs $80,000 per individual bed. The Urban Rigger offers 12 prefabricated units that come in at less than one-fourth of this cost – $20,000 per bed.

In the realm of refugee or post-disaster shelters, organizations or governmental emergency management departments tend to offer temporary structures such as tents or other transitory units. Though these units should be thought of more as temporary solutions, more often than not, they are inhabited for durations far longer than they were designed for. As a result, inhabitants often lack the standard needs for living, as these temporary shelters have not been planned with respect to water, sanitation, and general livelihood.””

Urban Rigger offers an immediate solution to this housing shortage, increasing the number of residences in major port cities. Remote regions in need of homes suddenly become very reachable; places in need of shelter for refugees have an affordable solution; disaster areas where homes have been destroyed can, within days, be reestablished. During a period in which climate change and sea level rise has become a concern, this is one of the most resilient form of housing because it moves with the water – it’s the only building type that will never flood. Urban Rigger offers a solution that addresses housing and sustainability concerns and fosters a strong sense of community for its inhabitants.”

SOLUTION: “At a quarter of the cost of traditional student housing, the Urban Rigger uses a hexagonal configuration of 9 upcycled containers to offer 12 individual residences, a storage room, laundry room, kayak landing, bathing platform, and 150-meters of open space through its courtyard and roof terrace. The arrangement of multiple units can be configured to fit any port organization in blocks of varying size allowing for flexibility. By building Urban Rigger on a floating base, are able to sail apartments as needed to port cities.

Shipping containers have been developed to carry and store maximum amounts of cargo within minimal space. Urban Rigger turns this idea inside out to create maximum space for living with as little material as possible. With the decline of shipyard industries in the 21st century, the project aims to transform containers that would ultimately become waste into optimal homes. By utilizing an upcycled container, the project expends as little as 450 kilowatts, rather than the approximate 1,100 tonnes of CO2 required to build a new home. Equipped with high performance energy systems, the project is nearly energy neutral.”