Design

This fly-through animation shows how The Shed can transform to create dynamic spaces for the performing arts, visual arts, and popular culture. Animation courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group.
Close up of The Shed's bogie wheels, March 2017. Photo by Tim Schenck.
Close up of The Shed's bogie wheels, March 2017. Photo by Tim Schenck.

Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group, The Shed’s 200,000-square-foot home comprises an eight-level base structure and a telescoping outer shell. The base building holds two expansive, column-free galleries totaling 25,000 square feet of museum-quality space; a 500-seat black-box theater that can be subdivided into even more intimate spaces; event and rehearsal space; and a creative lab that will be provided free to early-career local artists.

The telescoping outer shell can be deployed over the adjoining 20,000-square-foot plaza to create a 17,000-square-foot light-, sound-, and temperature-controlled hall, The McCourt, which can serve an infinite variety of artists’ needs and uses, including as a theater seating 1,250 people or a standing audience of up to 3,000 people. Its ceiling acts as a theatrical deck, allowing for rigging across the entire volume of space above performers and audiences, as well as light and sound control. When the space is not needed, the shell can nest over the base building, freeing the plaza for outdoor use and programming.

Weighing more than eight million pounds when fully loaded with building systems and production equipment, the movable shell will travel on a double-wheel track based on gantry crane technology commonly found in shipping ports and railway systems. A rack-and-pinion drive will move the shell forward and back on four single-axle and two double-axle bogie wheels that measure six feet in diameter. It takes approximately five minutes for the shell to move from being nested over the base building to being fully deployed over the plaza, and vice versa, covering a distance of approximately 115 feet.

The exposed steel diagrid frame of the movable shell will be clad in translucent pillows of durable and lightweight Texlon-based polymer, called ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE). With the thermal properties of insulating glass at a fraction of the weight, the translucent ETFE will allow light to pass through and can withstand hurricane-force winds. Measuring almost 70 feet in length in some areas, The Shed’s ETFE panels are some of the largest ever produced.

With architectural references to the Fun Palace, Cedric Price’s unbuilt “anti-building” of the 1960s, The Shed can physically change at will and be responsive to myriad artistic ideas.

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Design Team

Diller Scofidio + Renfro is an interdisciplinary design studio that integrates architecture, the visual arts, and the performing arts. The firm established its identity through theoretical and self-generated projects before leading significant architecture projects such as the redesign of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the High Line in New York, and The Broad museum in dowtown Los Angeles. For their commitment to merging art, architecture, and culture, founding partners Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio were the first in the field of architecture to be recognized with the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

Rockwell Group is a 250-person cross-disciplinary architecture and design firm that emphasizes invention and thought leadership. The studio merges architecture, theater, craftsmanship, and technology to create unique narratives for its work, which includes hospitality, luxury residential, airport terminals, cultural institutions, set design, products, exhibitions, and festivals. Recent projects include the TED Theater (Vancouver, BC), NeueHouse (New York, Hollywood, and London), and set designs for On The Twentieth Century, Kinky Boots, and She Loves Me, for which David Rockwell won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Scenic Design. Other honors include the AIA New York Chapter President’s Award, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, and the Presidential Design Award.

For our full list of consultants, click here.

For our full list of contractors, click here.

 

A Prelude to

May 1–13, 2018

  • ABRA
  • Kunlé Adeyemi
  • Arca
  • Asmara
  • Azealia Banks
  • William Forsythe
  • Reggie ‘Regg Roc’ Gray
  • Dorothea von Hantelmann
  • DJ Haram
  • Josh Johnson
  • Cedric Price
  • Asad Raza
  • Tino Sehgal
  • Total Freedom
  • Yves Tumor
10th Ave and 31st St

From May 1 to 13, The Shed will present our pre-opening program A Prelude to The Shed, a free arts event, at 10th Avenue and 31st Street in Manhattan, one block from our permanent home opening in spring 2019.

A transformable structure is as vital to the architecture of Prelude as it is for The Shed, a building designed to flexibly accommodate multiple artistic disciplines under one roof. Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ Works has collaborated closely with artist Tino Sehgal to design a temporary space in which dancers move and reconfigure the structure in a fluid integration of architecture and choreography.

A stroll through the fun palace presents an influential but unrealized project developed in 1961 by architect Cedric Price and theater director Joan Littlewood: The Fun Palace, a key reference for The Shed’s permanent building.

Each afternoon, and into the early evening, Sehgal’s work This variation will be enacted in alternation with choreographer William Forsythe’s Pas de Deux Cent Douze, a radical reimagining of the central duet from his seminal 1987 ballet In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated specially commissioned for Prelude.

D.R.E.A.M. Ring dance battles, organized by Reggie ‘Regg Roc’ Gray, take place early evenings. The D.R.E.A.M. Ring dancers are part of The Shed’s pre-opening commission FlexNYC, whose participants (elementary through high-school age) explore social issues and self-expression through flexn, a form of street dance with roots in Jamaican Bruk Up.

Schema for a School is a two-week-long experimental course for students of varied backgrounds taking place throughout Prelude. Developed by Asad Raza, together with Jeff Dolven and D. Graham Burnett, Schema aims to enact more embodied models for teaching and learning. The main thematic focus of this course is “We”—the first-person plural. It will be open to the public on Saturday, May 5, and Saturday, May 12, from 11:30 a.m.

On multiple evenings Prelude will feature a series of live solo concerts by Atlanta-based R&B singer-songwriter ABRA; Venezuelan electronic music producer, DJ, and songwriter Arca; and New York-based rapper and singer-songwriter Azealia Banks.

Prelude’s series of evening conversations on new institutional models for the 21st century considers the politics of ritualized gatherings and the role of art and culture in social connectivity. Dorothea von Hantelmann, Professor of Art and Society at Bard College Berlin, and Shed Senior Program Advisor Hans Ulrich Obrist organized the talks; The Shed’s Chief Science and Technology Officer Kevin Slavin served as an advisor. Von Hantelmann has written an essay, specially commissioned for Prelude, that considers new ritual forms for the 21st century. Von Hantelmann’s booklet will be distributed freely at the Prelude site.

If you are interested in participating in Schema for a School please apply here.

Prelude is programmed by Alex Poots, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Tino Sehgal, Dorothea von Hantelmann, Julia Simpson, Tamara McCaw, and Kevin Slavin. 

The site for Prelude has been generously provided by Frank H. McCourt, Jr., and McCourt Global.

We are grateful to our Board of Directors and to our early supporters for their vision, courage, and commitment to our growing, ambitious organization.

Selection from the Cedric Price Archive curated by the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal. All works by Cedric Price are from the Cedric Price fonds at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. 

We are grateful to the University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance for supporting the development of William Forsythe’s commission.

We are grateful to the Office of the Provost and the Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center, CUNY, for supporting the participation of the CUNY students taking part in Schema for a School.

Thank you to Lorenza Baroncelli, Scientific Director of the exhibition Cedric Price & Lucius Burckhardt, A stroll through a fun palace, and to the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia for their support of the exhibition’s presentation at the Swiss Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale.

FAQ

Are Prelude tickets free?

Yes, admission is free. A number of walk-in tickets to all events, including those sold out online, will be available onsite daily

If an event is sold out in advance, will there be a standby line? Is it worth coming for the standby line?

Yes and we recommend trying the standby line. We will do our best to accommodate as many people as possible.

Can I leave and come back?

Please note that we have a no re-entry policy. If you leave the Prelude site you will need to get a new ticket at the onsite box office, if they are available.

Is this a rain or shine event?

Yes, Prelude will take place outdoors and will continue in all weather. Free ponchos will be available in the event of rain. Please leave umbrellas at home so that all attendees can view the stage.

Is this a seated event?

Tickets are standing room, general admission.

What shoes should I wear?

As this is an outdoor event with variable terrain, we recommend flat, closed-toe shoes.  

Is the event ADA accessible?

Yes, the ADA entrance is located at 31st Street and Tenth Avenue. Please speak with our staff if you have additional needs that will help you enjoy the program.

How can I learn more about The Shed?

Please explore this wesbsite and follow our social channels @theshedny.

How can I support The Shed?

Please click here to learn more about becoming a Shed Mover, our new membership program, for only $10, or to make a donation.

Is there anything I can’t bring on site?

Please note the following items are prohibited on the Prelude site:

  • Weapons of any kind
  • Outside food or beverages
  • Large bags and suitcases (larger than 13” x 17”)
  • Professional cameras / video / audio recording devices
  • Tripods or selfie sticks
  • Bicycles, skates, scooters, skateboards, segways, drones, or similar devices
  • Chairs or blankets
  • Coolers
  • Noise-making devices
  • Flags or signs
  • Pets
  • Umbrellas
  • Flammable or explosive devices
  • Any items deemed to potentially cause a safety or security concern

Is there food available on site?

Yes, there is a café that will serve grab-and-go fare, as well as beverages including wine and beer. Please note, payment is only accepted by credit card; no cash will be accepted onsite.