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Opening in spring 2019, The Shed will be New York’s first arts center dedicated to commissioning, producing, and presenting all types of performing arts, visual arts, and popular culture. The Shed’s building— an innovative 200,000-square-foot (18,500 m²) structure designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group—is designed to physically transform to support artists' most ambitious ideas. Its eight-level base building includes two levels of gallery space, a versatile theater, a rehearsal space, a creative lab, and a skylit event space; a telescoping outer shell can deploy from its position over the base building and glide along rails onto an adjoining plaza to double the building’s footprint for large-scale performances, installations, and events.

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When deployed, the shell creates a 17,200-square-foot light-, sound-, and temperature-controlled hall that can serve an infinite variety of uses. The hall can accommodate an audience of 1,200 seated or 2,700 standing; flexible overlap space in the two adjoining galleries of the base building allows for an expanded audience in the hall of up to 3,000. The shell’s entire ceiling operates as an occupiable theatrical deck with rigging and structural capacity throughout. Large operable doors on the Plaza level allow for engagement with the public areas to the east and north when open. 

When the shell is nested over the base building, the 19,500-square-foot plaza will be open public space that can be used for outdoor programming; the eastern façade can serve as a backdrop for projection with lighting and sound support. The Plaza is equipped with distributed power supply for outdoor functions. 

The building is able to expand and contract by rolling the telescoping shell on rails. The Shed’s kinetic system is inspired by the industrial past of the High Line and the West Side Railyard.  Through the use of conventional building systems for the fixed structure and adapting gantry crane technology to activate the outer shell, the institution is able to accommodate large-scale indoor and open-air programming on demand.

The Shed takes inspiration, architecturally, from the Fun Palace, the influential but unrealized building-machine conceived by British architect Cedric Price and theater director Joan Littlewood in the 1960s. Like its precursor, The Shed’s open infrastructure can be permanently flexible for an unknowable future and responsive to variability in scale, media, technology, and the evolving needs of artists.

The Shed’s back-of-house spaces, which include offices, mechanical spaces, dressing rooms, and storage, are located on Level 1 and the lower levels of the residential tower to the west, 15 Hudson Yards (also designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group). This allows the bulk of The Shed’s base building to be devoted to programmable space for art.

  • View of The Shed with the High Line
    View of The Shed with the High Line
    View of The Shed with the High Line
  • Interior view of The Shed (deployed)
  • View of bogie in place on the rails
  • Interior view of The Shed (deployed) looking towards the High Line
  • View of The Shed (nested)
  • View of The Shed from the High Line
  • Event and Performance Hall
Project information
ClientThe ShedSize (GSF)200000
Location         The Shed, New York, United States
External credits
Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell GroupDesign Architects
Thornton TomasettiStructural Engineer
Hardesty & HanoverKinetic Systems Consultant
Jaros Baum & BollesMEP & Fire Protection Consultant
VidarisEnergy Modeling Consultant
Tillotson Design AssociatesLighting Consultant
AkustiksAcoustics / Audio / Visual Consultant
Fisher DachsTheater Consultant
    Photography by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group,Iwan Baan,and Timothy Schenck