Shipping container-based art gallery is made to be moved
The MOT (Module of Temporality) offers an interesting take on shipping container-based design. The project cleverly plays to the strengths of the metal boxes by creating a temporary art gallery that can be packed up and moved to a new location when required.
The MOT, by Ukraine's Balbek Bureau, was commissioned by event agency and magazine publisher Don't Take Fake, and is being used to host works by 28 artists from 10 different countries. Since February, it has traveled to Kyiv, Dnipro, and Lutsk, and is currently located in Lviv. All proceeds go toward the restoration of art institutions in Ukraine damaged in the war, a theme that understandably looms heavily throughout the project.
"Inside MOT’s welcome area, the intentionally low ceiling retains a sense of pressure and discomfort, similar to what people feel in shelters during an air raid," explained Balbek Bureau. "The main exhibition area, on the contrary, is a commodious open space. The joints of the container walls were left visible to emphasize the structure's modularity. The primary material is metal in its various forms and textures. To honor the enterprises affected by Russian aggression, the architects featured metal beams and sheets from 'Azovsta' and the llich Iron & Steel Works, both devastated in the battles for Mariupol."
Its interior is spacious for a container-based building and measures 417 sq m (roughly 4,490 sq ft), spread over two floors, with a capacity for up to 100 people at a time. Structurally, it consists of 27 shipping containers which were originally manufactured at the Ilyichivsk Ship Repair Plant in Ukraine for another project by Balbek Bureau in 2012 that ended up being shelved.
The containers have been heavily modified to create the open and light-filled main gallery, including a cantilevering section, plus there are smaller and more intimate areas for exhibitions. The studio has added a fiberglass interior and significant insulation to allow it to withstand any cold and rain. A key focus of the project was ensuring that the structure could be transported with relative ease, and it can be dismantled, moved by truck and reassembled elsewhere in Ukraine in under 10 days.
Source: Balbek Bureau