Urban Rigger was founded in 2013 as a response to the shortage of affordable housing in our cities.

Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group Urban Rigger uses floating architecture to develop homes and communities by waterfronts. As an alternative to traditional buildings on land, Urban Rigger explores the social and sustainable benefits achieved by life on water. At the same time, Urban Rigger addresses several conditions challenging our cities today, like crowding and the lack of available and affordable housing.

A new way to build - and live

By building on water, many more people gain access to water front living and the health benefits of living near the water.

Expanding the city on to the water Urban Rigger at the same time tackles urbanization in a new way. Making use of unutilized waterfronts and turning otherwise undeveloped urban areas into prosperous communities.

Urban Rigger life is having your own comfortable home, access to the city and the water – and a great community around you.

And sea levels continue to rise

Land and building facing the waterfronts are challenged, as global sea levels are rising. In 2050, 90% of the world’s cities will have to deal with the rising sea levels to protect the people living near riversides and coasts. We’re not only running out of space, we’re losing it. By building on water we regain space.




The First Riggers 

The first Urban Rigger is placed by the waterfront of the Copenhagen Island ‘Refshaleøen’. The island had been deserted for over 30 years after formerly serving as a shipyard. Here, we created life on water with just over 100 residents living in 72 floating apartments.

City dwellers crave new ways of connecting, and this is exactly what the Urban Rigger building typology offers. On top of having your own personal space, your home is surrounded by community areas, where you can connect with your neighbors for family dinners, game nights, rooftop gatherings or a courtyard barbecue.

When on water, you are forced to think differently, and Urban Rigger encourages conscious living. From tiny living and resource consideration to waste management, residents are nudged to take care of their surroundings and understand their individual impact. And the result is that our residents on average have 34% lower energy consumption compared to our neighbors on land.

Studies show that those who live by the water report better mental health and physical well-being. The blue space effect describes how being by the water can have huge mental and physical benefits that we normally miss out on in traditional cities. By building on water, we provide restorative spaces that provide access to the positive effects afforded by seaside living in comfortable modern homes.

How do we do this?