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The Shed, New York’s new center for artistic invention, opening in 2019, is a 200,000-square-foot building sited along the High Line at 30th Street. The Shed’s flexible design will accommodate the broadest range of performance, visual art, and multi-disciplinary work.  

Two principal components comprise The Shed: an eight-level fixed base building for cultural programming and support spaces, and a telescoping outer shell that deploys over an adjoining plaza to double the building’s footprint on demand. The base building includes two expansive levels of gallery space, a versatile theater, a rehearsal space, an artists’ lab, and a sky-lit event space. The shell forms a vast hall that accommodates 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 from the Fun Palace, the influential but unrealized building-machine (1964) by British architect Cedric Price and theater director Joan Littlewood. Like its precursor, The Shed is conceived as open infrastructure that can be permanently flexible for an unknowable future. The Shed’s ‘plug and play’ capability allows it to be responsive to variability in scale, media, technology, and the evolving needs of artists. 

The Shed is adjacent to 15 Hudson Yards, a residential tower which contains the building’s back-of-house needs, enabling the entirety of The Shed to be devoted to programming.

In collaboration with Rockwell Group

  • 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
Size (GSF)200000LocationThe Shed, New York, United States
    Photography by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group,Iwan Baan,and Timothy Schenck