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Living In A Box...

Thanks to a partnership between Danish shipping container manufacturer, CPH, and Vandkunsten Architects, work will begin later this year on Copenhagen’s first affordable, purpose-built, student village, using recycled materials on underdeveloped land. The prototype container home, dubbed the ‘CPH Shelter’, after its manufacturer, is built around a 40-ft recycled shipping container infrastructure, with a two-floor polycarbonate structure providing additional modules of accommodation. The polycarbonate structure also incorporates a conservatory/greenhouse, which glows at night.

The CPH Shelter comprises a lounge and dining area, kitchen, bedroom with daybed, and a bathroom with shower and toilet. The conservatory can be used for growing food or flowers, while the walls and floor are clad in sustainably-forested Swedish pine, with fire-retardant fibreboard installed in the ceiling. Large operable windows are also cut into the container walls, providing plenty of light even on the ground floor.

Container living is not a new concept, but CPH has learnt lessons from previous projects and found innovative ways to overcome the perennial issues arising from lack of insulation and difficulty in keeping container homes cool in summer and warm in winter. To address this, CPH has installed wood fibre and paper-wool insulation, with an automated mechanical ventilation system in the bathroom and kitchen, and the firm says that its polycarbonate conservatory (which they call a ‘wintergarden’) offers warmth on a sunny day. (However, an efficient heat pump is also installed).

Container structures are easy to construct, easy to dismantle and move; so with no significant foundations required it means the student village can be constructed in one location, yet easily moved to another if alternative land becomes available, or redevelopment is proposed for the original site. CPH Containers has received a preliminary thumbs-up from the Copenhagen Municipal Council and plans to construct around 2000 container homes before the end of 2019.

All images: Arch Daily