New York firms Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group have designed a cultural building for the city’s vast Hudson Yards development, with a sleeve that rolls out to create extra covered event space. The venue, known as The Shed, will house galleries and flexible areas for art and culture events of every kind.
It is designed to be completely adaptable, with a host of features that will allow it to change configuration and accommodate a multitude of needs.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro partner Elizabeth Diller presented an animation showing many examples of these – ranging from exhibitions and public art projects to concerts and fashion shows – during The Met’s In Our Time architecture symposium last week.
The building’s most prominent feature is a giant, steel-framed section of roof and walls, which is filled with transparent plastic pockets and mounted on wheels and tracks.
This component sits snugly over a fixed building but can be rolled out over the adjacent open space – doubling the venue’s 21,000-square footprint.
“We were fortunate enough to have a spare space next to us, so we convinced the city that we could use this part of the time, and they thought it was an interesting idea,” said Diller during her presentation.
Construction of The Shed began in 2015 as part of phase one of the Hudson Yards development on the west side of Manhattan.
The building sits at the southern edge of the site, adjacent to the DS+R-designed High Line elevated park.
It also tucks into the base of a 70-storey residential tower – 15 Hudson Yards – also by DS+R with Rockwell Group. “We wanted to control who our neighbour was,” said Diller.
Access will be provided directly from both, as well as a plaza that will include Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel sculpture made up of interconnected staircases.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group conceived The Shed as a multipurpose and scalable venue in 2008. Their aim was to provide New York with an unbranded institution that would bring together all branches of the arts.
They were asked by the mayor to come up with a business plan, and it eventually became an independent, not-for-profit organisation with its own artistic director.
After it completes in 2019, it will serve as the home of New York Fashion Week and host a wide selection of income-generating events.