CPH Shelter
Refshaleøen, Copenhagen
2015 - 2017

Tem­po­rary stu­dent vil­lage

With a vision to solve a current problem with affordable housing for students in the cities, a young startup approached the office. Their vision was to provide student housing by converting discarded shipping containers to sustainable and affordable homes. We accepted the challenged and have developed concepts and built prototypes for two units.

The compact units have a livingroom, a place to sleep, a bathroom and a kitchenette.
Two test homes have been built in Copenhagen brownfield, Refshaleøen. Cph Shelter is a showroom and is ideal as a summerhouse or a movable allotment hut, and a unit that would work for terraced housing and for larger groupings of student villages (prototype 2).

Vandkunsten has made the Masterplan for Cph Village. Stage 1 was completed during summer break 2018.

The container homes are placed temporarily on empty lots, so-called perspective areas. The Danish Planning Act was altered in 2017. It is now possible to build temporary student housing for 10 years in pre-developing areas.

Cph Shelter is lined with wood and the space is optimized with bespoke furniture

Prototype 2 is radical in its exposed, corrugated metal interior. It is insulated on the exterior

Project facts


Project name: CPH Shelter

Category:Housing, Planning, R&D

Client: CPH Village

Location: Refshaleøen, Copenhagen

Gross area: Per unit 20- 40

Date: 2015 - 2017

Status: Masterplan under construction (stage 1 completed in Aug 2018)


Program: Student housing

Activity: Conceptdevelopment, construction of demo units, masterplan

Job type: Commision

Construction system: Used shipping containers

Contact: Søren Nielsen, sn@vandkunst.dk

Project group: Salma Zavari


Architect: Vandkunsten

Landscape: Vandkunsten

Contractor: Logik & Co