Bard Media Lab Shipping Container Classroom, New York

3D Rendering
Drawings, floor plans and section
Construction Process
About MB Architecture

ArchitectsMB Architecture
Area960 ft²
LocationAnnandale-on-Hudson, New York, United States
PhotographsMatthew Carbone
SuppliersEdge, Lightolier, Marvin, Renlita USA, Vessel
Architect In ChargeMaziar Behrooz
ManufacturersSnapSpace Solutions
Faculty RepresentativeJeff Katz

The Laboratory of the Experimental Humanities Department of Bard College is made up of 4 recycled shipping containers. They were installed in the heart of the campus, near a Frank Gehry concert hall, and were completely finished to work in a couple of weeks. Its double height and width produce a main space of 4.57 meters wide by 5.18 meters high, with an office on the second floor, totaling an area of 89.18 square meters.

The project grew out of a $ 100,000 grant and was prefabricated, delivered, and installed in half a day at a cost slightly above $ 200,000. As a prototype, it offers schools and universities an affordable solution to their urgent needs for classroom space.

The budget required us to explore options beyond conventional construction, so we leveraged some of our previous containerized explorations and projects and offered a fully prefab building that needs no more on-site work than the pouring of concrete foundation.

The laboratory will be used by various departments of the faculty; therefore, flexibility was a necessity. By adding a large revolving garage door that opens to a courtyard, the 5.18-meter-high main hall will become a stage for performances, shows, and theater events, ensuring a productive relationship between the building and the campus in general.

Our office has strived to balance project delivery with stronger budgets and more accessible ones. The prefab solutions we offer are among the most affordable building solutions for any urban or near-urban area in the United States. We hope that they can assist individuals, organizations, and businesses that might not otherwise be involved with architecture to solve their construction needs.

Description by Bard College

Bard College has installed the New Annandale House, a two-story multipurpose media studio building located at the intersection of Woods Avenue and Annandale Road near the center of campus. The 945-square-foot building is made of four 40-by-8-foot Corten steel shipping containers, originally manufactured in Hong Kong in 2003. The building was designed by Maziar Behrooz of MB Architecture in Manhattan and fabricated by SnapSpace Solutions in Brewer, Maine. The ends of the containers were transformed into impressive 8-by-8-foot glass walls. The main floor is a double-height space with an adjoining 20-by-8-foot space. Designed with versatility and flow in mind, the main classroom becomes an indoor/outdoor space with a 16-foot garage door opening onto an adjacent outdoor gathering space on the south side.

“We’re thinking of it as a multiuse collaborative space,” says Dean of Information Services and Director of Libraries Jeff Katz. “It can be a media lab, a demonstration space, a performance space, a gallery space, a video conferencing space, a relaxation and reflection space. We hope the space itself will inspire the community to imagine and propose the ways it might be used.”

The guiding principles of this IT-led initiative were to use repurposed materials to create flexible, practical and elegant multiuse campus space that could, by intention, be used for a variety of short-term purposes. The inaugural residency in New Annandale House will be a workshop, lab, and demonstration space for Bard College Experimental Humanities.

3D Renderings

Drawings, floor plans and section

Construction Process

One day to install this two story structure that traveled 400 miles. Another few days of minor interior work and it will be ready for classes.

About MB Architecture

We are a multi-disciplinary, award winning studio of design, architecture, & planning with offices in the Chelsea area of Manhattan & in East Hampton. Our East Hampton office was established in 1996.

Over the past 30 years, we have helped envision, design and build a diverse range of structures and spaces from affordable pre-fabricated micro-homes to private residences, we've built installations, commercial and cultural spaces at the overlap of technology and art, places of worship, affordable multi-unit housing, specialty museums and public spaces.

Our built work is dotted in numerous locations on the East End of Long Island (Hamptons), in New York, and Germany; and we have envisioned projects for New Orleans, China, Austria, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, and Chile.

Phone+1 631-329-2983

Office in Chelsea, Manhattan, New York City

Address529 W 20th St #6w, New York, NY 10011, United States

Office in East Hampton, NY

Address7 Newtown Ln, East Hampton, NY 11937, United States

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Bard Media Lab Shipping Container Classroom, New York