TRANSFORMED shipping containers could become part of the solution to Cork’s housing crisis, according to the Cork Chamber.
Urban Rigger shipping containers were designed by world-renowned architect Bjarke Ingels in response to Copenhagen’s lack of affordable student housing in the inner city.
The first full-scale Urban Rigger was delivered in summer 2016 in Copenhagen, as the first in a potential fleet of mobile, sustainable dwellings, for students, refugees and others, in urgent need of a home.
The initiative turns shipping containers into modern, sustainable apartments which can be constructed to float on the water, creating additional living space in the heart of cities.
While they may not solve the housing crisis in the long term, Sarah Thatt-Foley, Public Affairs Executive for the Cork Chamber, believes we should not dismiss such innovative ideas.
“I think they are a smart, creative, and innovative way of meeting a growing demand for affordable urban housing in great locations,” she said. “The voice of business in Cork is clear: we need more high quality, centrally located and affordable apartments in Cork city to keep up with growing demand,” she added.
The floating apartments have been commissioned for a 300-bed student complex in Copenhagen. “Every year, almost half of all new students starting higher education in Copenhagen struggle to find a permanent roof over their heads at a price they can afford. Most of these want to live centrally. Urban Rigger proposes a solution to this problem as each of the 72 floating units has its own kitchen and bathroom, a sea view, and access to shared roof terraces and courtyards, with a monthly maintenance cost of just €400,” she added. “That’s quite a steal.”
Cork and Copenhagen are very alike, according to Ms Thatt-Foley, which should encourage the Rebel County to try out this new initiative or something similar. “First and foremost, we have water that is required for this type of housing and landbanks along our docklands that will become vacant in the future,” she said. “Like Copenhagen, we also have a shortage of affordable housing for students and young professionals.
“They are centrally located so residents can commute by bike or by foot, energy efficient, affordable, created with careful attention to great design, and also very quirky,” she added.
“No doubt this type of housing does not suit everyone, but for those who prefer affordability, design and location over extra space they can make a very attractive home until life circumstances change and you move on to the next chapter.”