Some pics..

...of the completed project placed adjacent to the School of Art at GMU


The Project Intro

This blog documents the conception and development of a specific project. Here you can track the development of this collaborative project as we go from general idea to specific implementation. All of this surrounds the adaptive reuse of a shipping container into a sustainable, student-run art exhibition space.
Tom Ashcraft, Associate Professor of GMU Sculpture Dept., found and placed an old metal shipping container in the sculpture yard next to the Fine Arts Bldg. The container will eventually be used as an exhibition space for students, providing a non-traditional exhibition space in which to show their work. In the meantime, Daniel Dean, Tom Nutt & Blake Turner have been considering how to get it in shape and what the presence of the container indicates. It is an artifact of globalization that appears to have come from as far away as Korea and the story hidden in its shell promises to be very interesting. We've taken on the task of rehabilitating & repurposing this object & its space while in the process, investigating it's archeology, aesthetics and cultural status. We will work toward our own exhibit that will present our documentary findings, along with new visual work utilizing the container as a generator of ideas.

Recycling & sustainability will feature large in this project. Recycling the container itself into an exhibition space but also utilizing recycled and found materials throughout this process. We're looking to secure funding and technological assistance for developing a self-contained, human, wind and solar based electrical system to power the space. This aspect is in keeping with GMU's President Merton's commitment to make the university zero emissions in the near future.

Return here to follow the progress of the project (you can subscribe by rss to the right).


Custom Skylights

We've decided that creating skylights will be a great way to transform the space and utilize that fiery ball of gas "above" us to light the interior. It probably helped that we discovered several great pieces of frosted glass that we'll be using to fill our steel frames fabricated from angle iron.

Go here to see some more pics in progress


Skylight Prototype w/ 3-D model of skylights

(video of a work session)

progress report
  1. Nearly complete prototype
  2. Tom welding on the bolt tabs.
  3. Final prototype
  4. Custom bolt tabs
  5. video


New Paint

the final coat of paint is on the interior and it looks beautiful. We chose a blue-hued, bright white exterior paint with a satin finish to maximize the spread of light throughout. (you can see a bit of the red skylights above.)




Pallet Parquet - new floor

(in progress=sneak preview) In keeping with the philosophy of this project, we've chosen to pursue the repurposing & recycling of shipping pallets to replace the deteriorated floor we inherited. All the pallets we have used to date have been retrieved from the trash or donated by businesses overflowing with them and glad to be rid of them. Along the way we've discovered a great source of beautiful woods often tossed or neglected into oblivion. These pallets embody a synoptic story with the container itself. They create a wonderful patchwork of colors, marks, paints and other impressions that soften the container's interior and enter into a dialogue with the object that contains it. Photos:


"Brand new" recycled pallet floor

Here are some images of our "pallet parquet" floor, looking spectacular with a few coats of water-based poly on it to give it some shine and protection from wear. Notice the variety of paints, stains, grains and widths that give it a collectively ragtag look - it reminds me of a quilt in a way.


Solar Panel setup & brains

We've gotten most of what we need together to begin installation of the PV array. Once completed, we will install low-power LED lighting that we fabricate and customize for the all metal interior.
These pieces make up what will be the "brians" of the container:
-this wood box will house all the equipment in the rear of the container
-a pic of the center area with things getting wired in
-a 2 series dimmer switch for controlling two separate strings of custom LED lights,
-four digit LCD panel to display current volts
-Xantrex C60 load/charge controller
-Xantrex 1200 inverter