Student Housing of the Future

Maggie Krantz / Week 5 / Post 4


In this day and age, finding affordable student housing in large cities is nearly impossible. In Europe, there is a desperate need because of the projected 4 million housing deficit for students by 2025, but how can local governments and builders solve this problem when most universities are located in already developed urban areas? Because of traffic congestion and high property prices, finding places to build more housing for low cost has become increasingly problematic. Some firms are looking towards using unconventional areas, like waterways, to meet the demands of the people without compromising on cost. This can solve the student housing crisis as well as become a new look at potential housing communities. 


One cutting-edge firm called Urban Rigger, an offshoot of BIG, has come up with a solution to this problem through their creation of floating housing made out of solar-powered, upcycled shipping containers in canals, harbors, and waterways. This carbon neutral housing experiment located in Copenhagen, Denmark utilizes the abundant waterways to offer low cost, low impact housing in a highly urbanized and developed area. Unlike floating houses of today, this project creates a floating community geared towards the often overlooked demographic of students. Setting rent at just $600 a month, these affordable and sustainable units are a very real answer to the housing crisis most European universities face and can serve another use as housing for the refugees now flooding Europe. 

Source: picture 1 / picture 2 / /


One comment

  1. Rachel Riddle

    Rachel Riddle – Week 6.

    I completely agree that finding affordable student housing in urban areas is such a challenge, and even the University of Minnesota has had issues with freshman housing deficiencies in the past. I think these floating house communities are a great idea, and I am fascinated by the fact that they are solar-powered, upcycled shipping containers as well. To expand or add to your argument, I would be interested in seeing if it would be possible to add some form of portability or adaptability to the communities. Students pay so much in rent over their four or more years at school without building any equity and when they graduate they have to start all over usually in a new place. Think of the possibilities if these containers were able to relocate after the students graduated resulting in an easy transition into the “real word” without the hassle of finding a new home or the debt and payments that go along with it. There would have to be a way for the structures to adapt and transition to land from water or vice versa, but with technology continually improving and changing I definitely think it’s possible. There is also some form of sustainability in the fact that this type of architecture inhabits the landscape in a eco-friendlier way by resting lightly on the water or ground without being harmful to the environment. My only concern with this type of housing is pollution; however, similar already existing floating communities, Toronto Float Homes in particular, have proved that there is an efficient way of taking care of the waste without damaging the environment. Recently studies have shown that nanotechnology provides the tools to remove heavy metals and oil from contaminated water, so it would also be beneficial to incorporate this technology into these communities enabling them to clean the water while inhabiting it.


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