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Student life

Review: CPH Village — the toy house settlements

Dorms Disclosed — If you are looking for a milder version of dorm life without ancient traditions and house meetings, CPH Village offers a container village out in the Refshaleøen quarter or in Vesterbro.

CPH Village:

Otto Busses Vej 2450 Copenhagen SV

Refshalevej 161F, 1432 Copenhagen K

Monthly rent:

+ Rent: DKK 4,689

+ utilities Water, heating and electricity

– housing subsidy: DKK 600 (all residents are entitled to housing subsidy)

Total DKK 4,389 a month.

Application process: Fill in a questionnaire on the website.

When the founders of CPH Village set out to build affordable housing for students, they asked themselves: »What is the most sustainable? It must be the upcycling of a material. And so it ended up being ships’ containers,« says Ida Lundorff, who is communications officer at CPH Village.

The first ‘village’ was based on a collection of containers in the Refshaleøen district, which, since 2018, has had 164 homes – two in each container. In 2020, 184 new rooms were ready on the outskirts of Vesterbro. CPH Village has moved on from the concept of recycling ships’ containers and now builds the homes in wood, but the rooms’ dimensions remain the same: 11 square metres, including one small kitchen, per room. The residents share a tiny corridor, a bath, and a toilet with one other resident.

»There is lots of floor space in Copenhagen that ends up being empty for ten years straight. So it makes no sense to build a large building that will be there for many years. But it does makes sense to build something temporary like this,« says Ida Lundorff, as we stand on the site, which is actually owned by the Danish railways DSB.

SEE THE FULL ‘DORMS DISCLOSED’ UNIVERSITY POST SERIES: Reviews by student residents of dorms and residence halls in Copenhagen

»Our buildings are constructed in a way that they can be moved when we have to move away from here. This is the LEGO method. We would like to show that temporary buildings can be made properly.«

This is the reason CPH Village has had environmental reports made out for the locations that they take over, with the purpose of improving the environment while they are there. That is also why there is also a large, fallen, tree on the Vesterbro plot that is to house beetles and insects.

image: Rasmus Buhl Kristensen
image: CPH Village
image: CPH Village

Clubs, communities and residents’ initiatives

Each village has a communal building with a kitchen and a room for people to sit down and eat together. But as everyone also has their own kitchen, it is not the dining club that gets the residents together, but the activities that the residents themselves organise. Ida Lundorff calls it »communities on own initiative«. The residents themselves organise common activities and clubs by way of the CPH Village Facebook page.

Dorms disclosed

There are loads of dormitories, kollegiums, and student residences in Copenhagen, yet most of the information available is in Danish.

Some are small, old houses with pretty gardens, others are giant concrete buildings with tiny windows.

This is a review by a student reporter. But in the Dorms Disclosed series, it is the residents themselves that review the dorms that they live in.

Here is an overview with links to all of the dormitory and student accommodation reviews we have published so far, written by the people who know them the best.

If you want to write an English-language review of your dorm write to with ‘Dorms Disclosed’ in the subject header.

»Yoga clubs, book clubs and let’s-jump-in-the-harbour-every-morning clubs,« says Ida Lundorff.

If you, as a resident, plan on doing something bigger and more expensive, you can apply to CPH Village for funding anything from a European Championship soccer evening, to sowing wildflowers in front of the homes, to building a bench for the outdoor area. The only requirement is that it has to benefit everyone.

»Maybe someone invites you over for a karaoke evening. In many dorms you have traditions, and we don’t have any because it is all still very new,« says Ida Lundorff.

To be considered for a room in one of the ‘villages’, you need to be a student and send an application to CPH Village in the form of a small questionnaire in which you fill in your age, gender and study programme.

CPH Village reads the applications and tries to shape a mixed group of residents. 15 per cent of the residents are international, and all communication from CPH Village is in English.

[This review has been written by a student reporter at the University Post.  If you want to write an English-language review of your dorm write to and mark it ‘Dorms Disclosed’]

READ ABOUT OTHER RESIDENCE HALLS AND DORMS HERE: Student housing reviews: Dorms and residences in Copenhagen