New design plan for student housing is a crate solution.

Helsinki, without a doubt, has been running dangerously low on housing the past five years. Some might even go so far as to say that we’ve run out and are in desperate need of a solution.

Helsinki Educational Research Area (HERA) and STX Finland Cabins believe to have found a solution for this. Revealed at their iCabin event last week, the re-designed for urban living shipping containers are the first steps to hopefully easing the massive numbers of homeless students.

There are currently some 7000 people in queue for a student apartment in Helsinki. As it stand, the city did not build a single new apartment building for rental use this year – the prospects for any new ones next year remain slim. HOAS, the largest supplier of these apartments, will easily leave international students with no information or help, partly due to the lack of funds to run the entire organization, and partly because of lack of coherence within the organization itself.

Jätkäsaari, at the western edge of Helsinki overlooking the bay, remains in a constant state of flux as development begins and stops at a steady pace. Urban planning for the area is fragmented at best and hundreds of shipping crates are left without use to rust.

STX estimates that a single crate could be refurbished and designed as a student flat for a price of 35 thousand Euros. The crate flats would be equipped with bathrooms, heating and easily applicable electricity.

Currently, Jussi Nuortimo of Helsinki Uni is staying at one of these crates in Kruununhaka for the month of October. His mobile apartment is located at Unioninkatu 37.

The potential for this project is incredible. While it won’t be able to become a lasting solution, a portable and easily built student village such as this would be a lifesaver (often literally) for the rising number of international and even domestic students without homes in the capital region.

We have the means, the skill and now a working design to affect the future of many – why not take it and think of life inside the box?

More information: