A Shipping Container Prefab Lab Is Built in Only 4 Hours
A two-story, shipping container prefab offers a speedy solution to shortages of space on campus.
When classroom space was becoming limited for at Bard College in New York’s Hudson Valley, representatives from the school looked to MB Architecture for a fast, effective fix. By utilizing prefabricated structures, the architects were able to design and deliver just that.
Installed on site in half a day, the pre-finished and retrofitted shipping containers were assembled in as little as four hours, and were fully operational and occupied several days later.
The new Media Lab on the middle of campus exemplifies the speed and efficiency of prefab cargotecture. Built double wide and double tall, the boxy two-floor building offers 960 square feet of adaptable meeting spaces and performance areas for the Department of Experimental Humanities.
Following assembly, the team, directed by lead architect Maziar Behrooz, added trim boards between the upper and lower floors and connected the electrical and plumbing lines to the site utilities.
“The project arose out of a grant of $100,000 and was prefabricated, delivered, and installed in half a day at a cost slightly over $200,000,” says a member from MB Architecture. “As a prototype, it offers schools and universities an affordable solution to their urgent classroom space needs.”
The architects expressed the multiple functions of the Media Lab through designing flexible and open-plan spaces that cater to meetings, lectures, workshops, exhibitions, performances, and more. A glazed garage-style door swings up to open the double-height main room to the quad, while also creating a stage for concerts and theatrical events.
While reconfigurable furniture includes chair seating for up to 16 people, the stairs can also be used as auditorium-like seating for lectures. The downstairs space of the Media Lab is open for reservations to the Bard community, and offers a variety of products, including sound recording equipment and a television for others to use.