Answer: Shipping containers.
Built for Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, the Bard Media Lab is made of four shipping containers, with some heavy modifications. MB Architecture, which has a wealth of experience in turning shipping containers into things that they were not designed to be, installed the structure in about half a day.
The final product includes thermal insulation — via closed cell foam insulation installed in the walls of the containers, as well as thermal windows — interior framing, wooden flooring, electrical outlets and bathrooms. It has 960 square feet of floorspace and two levels. There is even a garage door on one side that can be raised to create a covered porch.
According to MB Architecture, “at the end of the half-day installation, the Lab was occupied and within a few days, fully operational.” The lab will be used by different departments throughout the college on a rotating schedule.