The Shed: A New Hub For Artistic Invention Coming Soon to New York City

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By Gabrielle Golenda
Described as a "cultural shed for New York," The Shed is an expandable multi-use cultural venue designed by the NYC-based firm, Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Rockwell Group.

On the far west side, where the High Line meets Hudson Yards, The Shed is a 200,000-­square-foot interdisciplinary arts space designed to operate and morph into a variety of functional spaces. Costing nearly $425 million, the venue consists of two primary modules: a six-level fixed building that contains a 500-seat theater, event and rehearsal space, and two galleries, among other technological and artistic elements; and an outer "shed" that projects into shelter over a 21,000-square-foot plaza, creating an exterior multipurpose 120-foot-tall, column-free hall.

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Due to be complete in 2019, the venue’s metamorphic structure is devised in two separate schemes. The stationary structure is outfitted with a conventional steel frame with 100-foot-long clear spans enclosed within a glass cable wall. Meanwhile, the movable shell comprises an exposed-steel, diagonal-grid frame that's clad in translucent plastic cushion-like sections. The flexible design of the performative structure can accommodate the broadest range of performance, visual art, music, and multi-disciplinary work. 

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According to DS+R founding partner Liz Diller, power, lighting, theatrical rigging, and ducts are integrated within the structure in order to create an "open infrastructure." Collaborator and Rockwell Group founder David Rockwell, says that the building is inherently "performative." 

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The structure itself will host experimentation, innovation, and collaboration. In hopes of being a center for artistic invention, it will weave together spaces for artists in every field in tangent with experts in humanities and science. When complete, the building will contain 170,000 square feet of exhibition space for temporary installations, concerts, performances, and other cultural productions.

The programs already lined up feature international participation, created with co-commissioned partners around the globe—as well as local—with early-career artists in residence in The Shed’s creative lab. The venue will also serve as the new home of several high-profile events, including New York Fashion Week.

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The project broke ground in 2015 on New York City-owned land at West 30th Street. With any luck, the "Culture Shed" will give Hudson Yards just the kind of cultural destination it needs.

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