2018 New York Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design, design champion, best studio & best start-up, plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage, growing demand for design

The Bard College Department of Experimental Humanities’ Lab [DRAFT]

Image Credit : Matthew Carbone | MB Architecture



Project Overview

The Bard College Department of Experimental Humanities’ Lab is made from 4 recycled shipping containers, the same ones you pass on the highway.

Project Commissioner

Bard College

Project Creator

MB Achitecture


Maziar Behrooz - Lead Architect

Project Brief

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.

Project Innovation/Need

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.

The lab is located in the middle of the campus, close to a Frank Gehry concert hall. The double-wide, double tall arrangement yields a 15’ wide, 17’ tall main space, and a second-floor office totaling 960 sqft.

This award celebrates the design process and product of planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience that reflect functional, technical, social, and aesthetic considerations. Consideration given for material selection, technology, light and shadow. 
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