Text description provided by the architects. The Bard College Department of Experimental Humanities’ Lab is made from 4 recycled shipping containers. They were installed in half a day in the middle of the campus, close to a Frank Gehry concert hall, completely finished as shown, and fully operational in a couple of weeks. The double-wide, double tall arrangement yields a 15’ wide, 17’ tall main space, and a second-floor office totaling 960 sqft.
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. As a prototype, it offers schools and universities an affordable solution to their urgent classroom space needs. The budget required that we explore options beyond conventional construction. We tapped into some of our previous explorations and projects with shipping containers and offered a completely prefabricated building that needs no more on-site work than the pouring of concrete foundation walls. At the end of the half-day installation, the Lab was occupied and within a few days, fully operational.
The Lab will rotate between various departments at the college; flexibility was, therefore, a given. By adding a large pivoting garage door that opens to a quad, the main room, a 17’ tall space, will transform to a stage-set for performances, concerts and theatrical events — engaging the quad and ensuring a productive relationship between the building and campus at large.
Our practice has made an effort to off-set our more robustly budgeted projects with affordable ones. The pre-fab solutions that we offer as stand-alone products are amongst the most affordable building solutions in any urban or near-urban area in the US. We hope they can help individuals, organization, and businesses that would otherwise be unable to engage with architects and architecture for their building needs.