Opening April 5, 2019 in New York, The Shed will be an arts center dedicated to commissioning, producing, and presenting all types of performing arts, visual arts, and popular culture. The Shed’s building is designed to physically transform to support artists' most ambitious ideas.
The Shed under construction, as seen from the High Line, December 2018. Photo: Brett Beyer
Architect: Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Client: The Shed
Location: The Shed, New York, USA
Collaborating Architect: Rockwell Group
Alex Poots, artistic director and CEO of The Shed, rounded out the new arts center’s opening season by announcing five new commissions for fall and winter of 2019. The new work spans creative disciplines and will be presented in spaces throughout The Bloomberg Building.
“The Shed’s mission is to provide a place for artists of all disciplines to make new work,” said Alex Poots “Our commissioning program encourages established and emerging artists to take creative risks to engage the widest audience.”
The Shed under construction, as seen from the east, October 2018. Photo: Brett Beyer
The Shed's 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.
The Shed under construction, as seen from the north, September 2018. Photo: Timothy Schenck
When deployed, the Shed's 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.
The Shed under construction, as seen from the south, September 2018. Photo: Timothy Schenck
When the Shed's 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 Shed under construction, view of The McCourt, October 2018. Photo: Brett Beyer
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.
Rendering of The Shed and Lawrence Weiner’s IN FRONT OF ITSELF courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro
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.
Rendering of The McCourt courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro
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 (designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Lead Architect and Rockwell Group, Lead Interior Architect). This allows the bulk of The Shed’s base building to be devoted to programmable space for art.
Rendering of The McCourt with seating courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Opens September 25, The Theater
Venezuelan artist, singer, and electronic music composer Arca returns to New York City to premiere the first act of an experimental performance cycle titled Mutant;Faith. This commission follows a performance series at A Prelude to The Shed, the institution’s free, two-week pre-opening event in May 2018.
William Forsythe: A Quiet Evening of Dance
October 11 – 25, 2019, The Theater
Groundbreaking choreographer William Forsythe brings to The Shed a vivid combination of new and existing work. The intricate phrasing of the dancers’ breath is the primary sound accompanying Forsythe’s inventive choreography, which draws on the geometric origins of classical ballet and ranges from sparse and analytic to lush and baroque. The result is a new kind of production that, like an evening of chamber music, feels designed to be listened to.
A Quiet Evening of Dance includes two newly commissioned works, Epilogue and Seventeen/Twenty-One; two reimagined repertory works, Dialogue (DUO2015) and Catalogue (Second Edition); and Prologue, an excerpt of Seventeen/Twenty-One. For these pieces, Forsythe has worked with seven of his most trusted collaborators, who also perform them in this special evening offering insight into the workings of ballet and the mind of the choreographer.
A Sadler’s Wells London Production co-commissioned by The Shed; Théâtre de la Ville-Paris, Théâtre du Châtelet and Festival d’Automne à Paris; Festival Montpellier Danse 2019; Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg; Onassis Cultural Centre-Athens; and deSingel international arts campus (Antwerp). Winner of the FEDORA - VAN CLEEF & ARPELS Prize for Ballet 2018.
Mirrors and Memory
November 2 – 9, 2019, The McCourt
Artist Joan Jonas and pianist Hélène Grimaud will collaborate on a new live production about memory. At the forefront of video performance and installation since the 1960s, Joan Jonas has utilized the physical mirror as both prop and sculpture. She has also incorporated the concepts of mirror, reflection, and memory as they relate to the self, both as performer and audience member. Hélène Grimaud’s most recent album, Memory, stirs profound emotions through the elegant simplicity of miniatures by Frédèric Chopin, Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, and Valentin Silvestrov. This new commission will include video, projection, and live performance.
Guest curated by Nora N. Khan
November 13, 2019 – January 2020, The Theater
As The Shed’s first guest curator, critic Nora N. Khan has organized Manual Override, a group exhibition with artists Lynn Hershman Leeson, Sondra Perry, Simon Fujiwara, Martine Syms, and Morehshin Allahyari.
The exhibition centers on the pioneering filmmaker and artist Lynn Hershman Leeson, whose artistic practice involves collaborations with cutting-edge geneticists, scientists, and engineers. Hershman Leeson will premiere the final episode of her seminal work First Person Plural: The Complete Electronic Diaries (1984 – 2019), a series of confessional videos exploring the complex interplay between DNA editing, trauma, identity, and survival. The Shed will also present a new commission by Hershman Leeson, Shadow Stalker (2019).
Perry, Fujiwara, Syms, and Allahyari will adapt Leeson’s collaborative model as a prototype, each pairing with programmers, engineers, AI experts, and scientists. In Manual Override, these artists continue to create their own hybrid practices to reframe, reimagine, and even intervene in dominant technological narratives. Together, this group of artists suggests how we might override our coded, genetic, and social programming to expand the limits of what personal, artistic, and intellectual inquiry can be.
November 19 – 24, 2019, The McCourt
The Messa da Requiem highlights Giuseppe Verdi’s dramatic gifts for symphonic and choral writing with virtuosic solo moments. Teodor Currentzis and his orchestra and chorus musicAeterna, from Perm, Russia, will perform the Requiem in its entirety in their North American debut. Accompanying the performance is a specially commissioned cinematic artwork of moving image by avant-garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas. For this commission, Mekas, who passed away in January at the age of 96, drew inspiration from the words of Alessandro Manzoni, the poet and novelist to whom Requiem was dedicated.
Jonas Mekas's cinematic artwork for Requiem is co-commissioned by The Shed and Festspielhaus Baden-Baden.
Rendering of The McCourt, standing room, courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Rendering of the Gallery on Level 4 courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Rendering of the Theater on Level 6 courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro
The concept designs, developed by lead architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro , demonstrate the potential to deliver this landmark new building on the current Museum of London site.