Shipping Containers Are Taking Institutions by Storm
Storage containers are useful way beyond its original storage and transportation purposes, and shipping container architecture is proof of that. In fact, their growing popularity has led many institutions to see storage containers as a go-to method when it comes to construction.
The Bard College is the perfect example; its modern and brand new media lab was built out of shipping containers costing the institution just over $200,000 for the entire project. MB Architecture is the firm responsible for the design. This Long Island-based firm came up with the prefabricated structure as a prototype for a new container building system in order to offer schools a fast and affordable way to provide additional education space.
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The building is made out of four stacked shipping containers and the design cuts through the walls and floors of all containers to create a 17-foot-tall space at one side, and a set of stairs and a loft area on the other.
The building is stackable and transportable, two characteristics that continue to make shipping containers a popular material and tool amongst architects and engineers. However, this particular building, Bard College’s new media lab is not your standard prefab shipping container building. In spite of its corrugated metal exterior and the fact that it was built in a matter of hours with little on-site prep work beyond pouring the foundation, the design its architects came up with makes it anything but ordinary as it displays double-height space and garage-door-wall that gives it an industrial yet modern look.
The stackable structure made of volumes has other unique features such as its large garage door pulled up to make the interior a stage for plays, concerts, and happenings. Ample open wall space mean that it could also be used as an art gallery or project showcase.
As budgets tighten, institutions need to become more resourceful, low-cost yet efficient construction could be a clever way to save some institutions and the people who depend on them to build their future.