Bristol launches first innovative container housing project in the UK

Modular housing is growing in popularity across the UK as a cheaper, faster method of construction, and a new project in Bristol is building new communities with container housing.

LaunchPad is a pioneering housing project on stilts above a car park in Fishponds, Bristol. The not-for-profit initiative took less than a year to complete and this month opened its doors to the first new residents.

The 31 bespoke containers provide a ‘pad’ comprising a single space with a bed, lounge, study space and kitchenette. Clever space saving features have been included to maximise the space designed for one person.

Inspired by a Dutch model

The housing is described as ‘innovative’ and ‘pioneering’ and the actual studio units were put together in a matter of weeks. The container-style units can be put together faster and are easily dismantled and portable.

Bristol housing senior management were inspired by this form of modular housing in Amsterdam, when they visited Startblok Riekerhaven development, which sees refugees and young Amsterdammers housed in a special development of container housing.

Creating a mini community of young people from diverse backgrounds

Ben Pilling, the acting chief executive of Bristol Students’ Union said: “LaunchPad is a unique accommodation opportunity for Bristol students, which will bring together young people from diverse backgrounds.”

Unlike most other profit making accommodation available in the city, LaunchPad will encourage people living in the development to participate in decisions that shape their living community.

Ongoing support for the young residents will be provided by housing association United Communities and the council’s official young people’s homelessness charity 1625ip. The aim behind the project is to integrate young people into a mini-community, not just a place where people live.

Ben Pilling added: “We’ve enjoyed welcoming the first cohort of tenants in September and hope this will pave the way for other unique accommodation opportunities that provide value for students. The people living there are a mix of students, with young people who haven’t been to university, along with local keyworkers with ‘an onus on community engagement’.”

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