Rains Journal – Issue Nine: Urban Rigger

March 28, 2017


Floating Substainable Living

Words: Thea Brissing Sørensen
Photos: Urban Rigger




In the fall of 2013 Kim Loudrup developed an idea of a revolutionary and innovative dwelling system optimized for harbor cities. In cooperation with the world known architect Bjarke Ingels from BIG, the project named Urban Rigger was launched. By transforming shipping containers into floating student accommodations, they invented a solution that would have a positive impact on the increasing housing shortages in Copenhagen and other European capitals.









Shipping containers provide a wide range of possibilities. Due to their standardized systems it’s possible to create an extremely flexible building typology. Urban Rigger, the innovative dwellings with the characteristic blue color is constructed of 9 shipping containers stacked in two levels on a floating platform, which comprises 12 living spaces arranged around an internal and common courtyard.

By converting old shipping containers into homes the Urban Rigger project put sustainability into action. But the environmental benefits are affected in other ways as well: All the containers are sealed with an insulating aerogel developed by NASA, and the floating dwellings are powered by roof-based solar panels, while a heat exchanger system uses the seawater as a natural source to efficiently heat and cool the dorms.









Besides being sustainable and innovative Urban Rigger features high-end amenities as a bathing platform, kayak landing, barbecue area and roof terrace – goods that few people will ever experience. The dwellings are provided with modern features as floor to ceiling windows that create plenty of natural light and an extraordinary, panoramic view at the ocean, where small boats and massive ships frequently are sailing by – A view that also includes a glimpse of Copenhagen’s skyline with Marmorkirken (The Marble Church) and Vor Frelsers Kirke (Our Saviour's Church).










Urban Rigger is located on Refshaleøen, which is a small section of Copenhagen surrounded with water. Refshaleøen is an old industrial area with raw yet peaceful nature and lots of open spaces, which offers an ideal getaway from the busy Copenhagen. The old industrial buildings that once accommodated B&W shipyard are still parts of the scenery on Refshaleøen, which gives an authentic experience of the island. Urban Rigger is placed in a unique setting in the middle of an old industrialized harbor, raw nature and the bustling city of Copenhagen. In Urban Rigger you get best of both worlds: the pulsating life of the city as well as lots of open spaces and calm authentic nature.










The team behind Urban Rigger aim to expand the concept of the sustainable, modular dwelling system, Urban Rigger, to other waterfront cities across Europe where affordable housing is needed, but space is limited. Next up is Sweden where a 24-unit Urban Rigger is in process.

Visit Urban Rigger at refshalevej 325, 1432 Refshaleøen, Copenhagen, Denmark.