Whatever floats your boat

Whatever floats your boat

 by DOMINIC LUTYENS

URBAN RIGGER®’s floating residential buildings were designed in cooperation with the Danish architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) to alleviate the housing shortage in the city and provide accommodation for over 70 students.

Urban Rigger
Docked in an underused harbour in central Copenhagen, URBAN RIGGER® meets a pressing need for affordable student housing

One of BoConcept’s clients is Danish student housing project URBAN RIGGER®, a floating structure comprising stacked sea containers docked in Copenhagen harbour. It incorporates 12 student residences, which can accommodate one to two people, with indoor and outdoor communal areas. URBAN RIGGER® aims to expand its presence globally.

The project was conceived in 2013 by URBAN RIGGER® in collaboration with Danish architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) in order to alleviate the city’s housing shortage; it provides accommodation for over 70 students. ‘Cities all over the world lack affordable housing – especially for students – including Copenhagen,’ says Peter Mayntzhusen, COO of URBAN RIGGER®. ‘The project combines the need for housing with a wish to make use of underutilised former industrial harbour areas in central Copenhagen.’

Its compact, light-filled apartments boast enviable harbour views – and BoConcept’s stylish, space-saving furniture

URBAN RIGGER® aims to be self-sufficient and sustainable, for example some of its furnishings are made of recycled materials and its heating system draws heat from the seawater on which the structure floats, using a technology called Hydro Source Heating. This has several advantages, including providing a higher heat-transfer rate than heat sourced from the ground.

URBAN RIGGER® worked with BoConcept on the interiors and furnishings. ‘We required a solution which involved close co-operation with a design company,’ says Peter Mayntzhusen. ‘When we approached BoConcept, we could feel the company’s passion for its work, which is very like ours. From a commercial perspective, BoConcept’s furniture is of a high durable quality and we like its simplicity. The furniture also sharply contrasts with the raw materials.’

Other spaces in URBAN RIGGER®, all conducive to living and studying, are furnished with BoConcept’s communal tables

BoConcept’s furniture also satisfies the genuine desire for sustainability. ‘The sofas in the common areas are made of recycled polyester, which goes hand in hand with the original ideas of URBAN RIGGER®,’ says Peter Mayntzhusen. Furthermore, BoConcept based their interior designs on space-saving furniture, including the functional Billund table, just to name one.

More structures are in development in other city harbours. They are a perfect match with BoConcept’s ‘glocal’, scalable approach: it can provide high volumes of furniture around the world, while remaining true to its heritage and remaining sensitive to different contexts and cultural needs.

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