with a budget slightly over $200,000 MB architecture found a solution for the new york bard college media lab. the building is prefabricated and takes only half a day to install with no more on-site work than the pouring of concrete foundation walls.



as a prototype, MB architecture’s the container offers schools and universities an affordable solution to their urgent classroom space needs, while providing flexible space for various programs and events. 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.

project info:


project name: bard media lab

architecture: mb architecture (previously maziar behrooz architecture)

lead architect:maziarbehrooz

fabricator: snapspace solutions

client: bard college department of experimental humanities

client representative: jeff katz

location: bard college, new york

size: 960 sqf

program: media lab

  • Whilst I applaud the use of shipping containers to provide extra educational space this example seems to waste a lot of the potential usable space with a double height area expanding over most of the floor area leaving only a small gallery area on the first floor (2nd floor in the USA I guess)

    Ron Stephens says:
  • Ron Stephens,

    ‘Follow the program’, so to speak. The need for a flexible space that could be used for small concerts, performances, multi-media events, gatherings, conferences, and installations together with our objective to create a sense of spaciousness within such a small footprint resulted in the decision to maintain a double-height space. On the day of the opening, our decision was validated: even with a large crowd in the space, it did not feel small and, on the contrary, we felt it could even receive more people.

    The @Bard_eh instagram feed follows the activities within the space, and will give you a good sense of the functionality of the space.


    MB Architecture says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news