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•• history

The Container Space is located adjacent to George Mason University’s School of Art. The shipping container is a recycled object itself. The container stood deteriorating in a field for two decades before it was re-purposed utilizing found & recycled materials from the garbage & local community.

The George Mason University Office of Sustainability generously awarded the CS a grant in 2008. The funding was used to purchase an 130 watt solar panel & its various components that are currently the main power supply for the CS. The Container Space is supported by the George Mason University Sculpture Department and Blue Army Handyman.

Future plans include a giant seesaw that invites visitors to ride & generate power that is stored in batteries :: a power generating, stationary bicycle that allows visitors to participate in generating electricity for ContainerSpace.

Recycling the shipping container  began in 2008 when Tom Ashcraft, Associate Chair and sculpture professor, acquired the dilapidated structure. Undergraduates, Daniel Dean & Tommy Nutt took on the project without a budget. The collaboration focused on using upcycling and sustainable building practices to refurbish the container. The Container Space is an interesting artifact of globalization; it was built in Korea, painted with an industrial paint manufactured in China and traveled by containerships for shipping goods when leased by multinational shipping companies until it usueful life was over and it was sold to GMU for storage. The shipping container is a rehabilitated & repurposed object that is used as a nontraditional gallery space. Recycling & sustainability are key conceptual features of this project.

•• skylights

The skylights are constructed from found, frosted glass & donated steel angle iron.  Each skylight is tilted to a varying degree that references lines of longitude from the equator to the location where the Container Space now resides. The skylight closest to the entry of the Container is tilted to 45º. The furthest and fifth skylight rest on an even plane & represents the equator.

Tommy Nutt designing the skylights


Skylight 1 frame


•• pallet parquet

The floor is recycled from shipping pallets.  All of the pallets were retrieved from the trash or donated by local businesses overflowing with pallet stock. Along the way we discovered a great source of beautiful woods that are often tossed or neglected. 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.


•• Container Space Fellows


Tom Ashcraft – Ben Ashworth – Daniel Dean – Tommy Nutt –  Lenna Storm – Stephen Sherwood