What: Mobile and sustainable student housing in repurposed containers.
Where: Copenhagen, Denmark.
When: 2018
Client: CPH Village // 
By: Arcgency // Building Design and Vandkunsten // Urban Planning.
Photo: Astrid Maria Rasmussen // @astridkbh
CPH Village is a company on a mission to solve the student housing crisis by building sustainable and modular villages with value driven communities. To do the architectural design CPH Village has teamed up with Arcgency. The collaboration has resulted in a new architecture - a new aesthetic raised above style and taste - informed by a resource conscious approach and the aim to make temporary housing of high quality.  

Introduction to the building system by lead architect and partner at Arcgency, Mads Møller.


Diagramme - Exploded 3D

Plan level 1

Adaptive Reuse meets Design for Disassembly to create affordable student housing and lead towards a more sustainable urbanism.

As the housing sector accounts for 30% of carbon emissions in Denmark, coupled with an expected inflow of 300.000 people to the danish cities - we need to change the way we live.

CPH Village explores new ways of student living in urban areas and wants to promote a sustainable approach by addressing three dimensions; the social, the economical and the environmental. The student villages are temporary because - the only vacant and affordable land in the city is located in former industrial areas and ports which are currently zoned with restriction on permanent development - however a recent change in the planning law has made it possible to build temporary student housing for a period of up to 10 years in these areas.
Lifecycle and Design for Disassembly
At CPH Village the entire lifecycle of the building is in focus. Repurposed containers are adapted into housing using the principles of Design for Disassembly - a method that enables the buildings to be easily taken apart - moved - and reassembled. By doing so you can relocate the village to a new site, when the current area is ready for permanent development. The approach incites use of quality materials - as it is only the site that is temporary - the building can have a long life and after end of use all materials can be reused or recycled.
Low dense housing in former shipyard
The first CPH Village is placed at Refshaleøen a former shipyard in Copenhagen. The area is characterized by its industrial heritage, amazing views of the city, characteristic buildings and a sprouting creative scene. CPH Village is created as a low dense area with buildings no higher than two stories. The aim is to create an architecture that relates to the human scale and give the inhabitants a close connection to the surroundings. Life between the buildings is encouraged by creating niches to shelter from the wind and green areas in which the villagers can hang out, meet and engage with each other. A central lane leads through the village to the communal house and the harbour front. 
Community and simple living
How much space does one need? By giving access to a variety of shared spaces and amenities, the private spaces are reduced to the basics - a compact dwelling with good indoor climate and plenty of daylight. Each housing unit is build into a 40 foot container. It contains a shared entrance and bathroom, and two private rooms, each with a large window and kitchenette. The aesthetics are raw, all joints are made with visible screws and the walls are dented from the containers previous life at sea. The raw look is balanced by the soft shadow play on the folded metal surface of the container wall, the high ceilings (a high cube-container is 2.9 m tall) and the tactile surfaces of each students private belongings. Be it the linen on the bed, an old wooden chair or colourful wardrobe. The metal walls makes it possible to create flexible and personal interiors as everything can be hung with magnets or suspended between the walls using the existing grommets. There are already many examples of students having build beds, storage and flexible furniture. 
The spaces between the houses are sheltered by a roof creating semi-private areas that functions as an outdoor living rooms. Here the students grow plants, hang out, dry their clothes and do dinners. 
The focal point of the village is the the community house, a large flexible space located on the harbour front. It has high ceilings (3 containers stacked on top of each other) and offers a raw interior adaptable to any activity. On a daily basis this is where the villagers cook, wash clothes and hang out but over the week the house hosts quiz nights, concerts, talks and parties that are open to the public. The broad gates on each side of the building opens up to the surroundings inviting passers-by to engage with the activities of the village.
For more info please visit: https://www.cphvillage.com/ 

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