Students in Copenhagen can pay AUD$795 month to live in these floating shipping container dorms

If you’re a student in Copenhagen, your next dorm could be on the water, quite literally.

Urban Riggers, a sustainable housing startup founded in 2013, is making floating communities of dorms available to college students at AUD$795 a month.

The dorms, which are modular and made of low-cost shipping containers, are less grungy than you might expect. They each include a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen, which are all private. There are also common spaces — a courtyard, kayak landing, bathing platform, barbecue area, and roof terrace.

Bjarke Ingels, the renowned Danish architect whose firm has a 10% stake in Urban Riggers designed the units. The first unit (consisting of 12 dorm rooms) opened to the public on September 21.

Let’s take a look inside.

The first shipping container unit in Copenhagen is accessible by a bridge. A solar array on top of one of the containers powers the homes, and for heating and cooling, the units draw on the surrounding water.

Each unit contains six shipping containers arranged in triangles. The center space here has a courtyard.

Upstairs, there are boardwalks and roof terraces that offer a terrific view of the city.

The dorms all have a private kitchen, private bedroom, and bathroom. Not only do they give ample space, but the windows also allow for plenty of natural light and a great view of the ocean.

The first location is off a pier close to central Copenhagen. Because properties in the middle of town are usually owned by luxury developers, students often have to move further out from the city center to get anything affordable.

Ingels, whose firm is currently figuring out how to integrate Elon Musk's Hyperloop into existing cities and designing the 2 World Trade Center building, says that the project will make it actually affordable for students to live in Copenhagen's center, where rents are usually well above AUD$1,590 a month on average.

The education of our youth is one of the best investments any society can make,' Ingels tells Fast Company. 'In that sense, not investing in our future is simply the worst place to cut corners.'

Urban Rigger hopes that this unit will be one of many in cities that are struggling with housing shortages and sea rise. Next up: bringing the floating dorms to Sweden.

Urban Riggers says that they do have to pay the city for keeping real estate on the water. But the company hopes officials will one day offer up municipally-owned waterways for housing for free, considering the units would help ease housing-strapped public universities.

There's something to be said about the versatility of having a virtually unsinkable home. Coastal areas in the US are slowly losing housing on the water because of rising sea levels, but low-cost, floating homes could offer a sustainable way out.

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