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Sunday 25 February 2018

Fancy living inside a 'spacebox'? A peak at the world’s craziest student apartments

The Chapter, London, England
The Chapter, London, England
Tietgen Residence Halls Copenhagen Denmark
Urban Rigger Copenhagen Denmark
Tengbom Unit - Smland Sweden
Spacebox Studios - Apeldoorn Netherlands
Simmons Hall Massachusetts USA.
Cowan Court Cambridge UK
Cit a Docks - Le Havre France

Rebecca Lumley

Student homes are being constructed from disused materials such as shipping containers to meet the needs of cash-strapped students in a number of countries.

Innovative architects have created housing for rising numbers of students that boast solar panels, sun gardens and full-length windows, with rents often coming to less than an average Dublin room.

Ranging from tiny to towering and all with a distinctly futuristic design, these are the world’s quirkiest student homes.

Floating floorboards- Urban Rigger, Denmark

Urban Rigger ÔÇô Copenhagen, Denmark.jpg
Urban Rigger Copenhagen Denmark

Shipping containers have never looked so good. This low-cost student accommodation is docked in the harbour of Copenhagen and offers en-suite double bedrooms, roof terraces and solar panels.

The containers also have raised edges to protect against the threat of rising sea levels. Urban Rigger is based close to the city centre and sets students back just €530 per month.

Whether large bodies of water and drunk students are a wise mix is a whole other issue.

The Sponge- Simmons Hall, Massachusetts, USA

Simmons Hall ÔÇô Massachusetts, USA.JPG
Simmons Hall Massachusetts USA.

Nicknamed “the sponge”, these student halls certainly draw the eye. Simmons Hall is the largest and most expensive accommodation complex on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus, costing $78.5 million to build.

While Spongebob Squarepants may have lived in a pineapple, these students live in halls inspired by actual sea sponges. Designed with a “lung feature” that lets in light and circulates air, the complex holds 344 undergraduate students, a theatre, a night café and a ball pit.

Unfortunately the designer decor come with a hefty price tag, with monthly rents starting at €1,246 and going up to €1,525.

Throwback to the sixties- Cowan Court, Cambridge, England

Cowan Court ÔÇô Cambridge, UK.jpg
Cowan Court Cambridge UK

Covered by weathered oak panels and blocky in structure, these recently constructed halls pay homage to campus architecture stretching back to the 1960s. With monthly rents starting at just €420, they’re also much cheaper than campus offerings in Ireland.

Storage suites- Cité a Docks, Le Havre, France

Cit+® a Docks - Le Havre, France.jpg
Cit a Docks - Le Havre France

You’d be forgiven for thinking that these student homes were stacked storage containers at first glance, when hidden inside is actually a host of compact apartments. The containers give shape to four-story buildings, each containing 100 apartments spanning 24 square metres each.

Offering “minimalistic” design, these homes feature full length windows overlooking the English channel, as well as individual bathrooms and kitchens. Monthly rents start at €422, making this unusual design an affordable option.

To infinity and beyond- Spacebox Studios, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands

Spacebox Studios - Apeldoorn, Netherlands.jpg
Spacebox Studios - Apeldoorn Netherlands

Looking more like something from a sci-fi film than what you’d see on the street, these homes are also modelled on storage containers. With interiors as colourful as the exterior, these apartments are extremely compact but make excellent use of space.

Each apartment houses between three and six students and comes fully equipped with en-suite bathrooms and a shared kitchen. Rent ranges from €420 to €450 a month- “out of this world” value for the novelty of living somewhere like this.

Good things come in small packages-  Tengbom Unit, Småland, Sweden

Tengbom Unit - Sm+Ñland, Sweden.jpg
Tengbom Unit - Smland Sweden

This may look more like your dad’s “man shed” than an apartment, but that’s exactly what it is. The Swedish firm Tengbom have taken the meaning of small to a whole new level with their student “units”, each comprising of just 10 square metres.

Each unit includes a small kitchenette with shelving and storage, a small bathroom, a garden and patio and a loft space where residents sleep.

Made with cross laminated wood, these apartments are half the price of other student digs in Sweden and are said to be incredibly eco-friendly. Just don’t expect to see them in Ikea any time soon.

All aboard- The Chapter, London, England

The Chapter, London, England

These halls were once Natwest’s headquarters and are located in King’s Cross St Pancras train station. Remodelled for student housing, the designers wanted to keep the train theme alive and used the original booth seating to resemble train carriages.

The stylish complex has comfy common areas, communal kitchens and an on-site gym. In typical London fashion, rent isn’t cheap and starts from €1,040 per month.

Round and round-  Tietgen Residence Halls, Copenhagen, Denmark

Tietgen Residence Halls ÔÇô Copenhagen, Denmark.jpg
Tietgen Residence Halls Copenhagen Denmark

These cylindrically designed apartments have a hidden courtyard at the centre and hold 360 rooms over seven floors. Students can avail of an on-site grand piano, an auditorium for hosting events and a coffee shop.

The apartments are located in the centre of Copenhagen and rents range from €415 to €720 a month.

Apartment information was provided by

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