Hudson Yards arts center The Shed announces first commissions and reveals interior renderings

Posted On Wed, March 7, 2018 By

Posted On Wed, March 7, 2018 By In Architecture, Art, Design, hudson yards

The Shed under construction as seen from the High Line, February 2018. Photo by Ed Lederman.

The Shed, New York City’s first arts center dedicated to commissioning, producing, and presenting new work across the performing arts, visual arts, and popular culture, has unveiled the first seven commissions for its 2019 inaugural season. The Shed will open to the public at its home on Manhattan’s west side in spring 2019 with an expansive multi-use hall, two floors of column-free galleries, and an intimate theater that lends itself to a wide variety of performance. Also, The Shed’s largest and most iconic space has been newly named The McCourt in recognition of a $45 million gift by Frank McCourt, Jr. and his family. The new space, formed when The Shed’s movable shell is extended over the building’s adjoining plaza, will be able to accommodate large-scale performances, installations, and events.

Rendering of the Shed and the High Line, courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group


Rendering of the Shed and Lawrence Weiner’s “IN FRONT OF ITSELF,” courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group

Rendering of the McCourt, courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group

Alex Poots, The Shed’s Artistic Director and CEO, announced Tuesday that the inaugural season’s programs include:

  • A new live production celebrating the impact of African American music on art and popular culture in the past century conceived by acclaimed filmmaker and artist Steve McQueen, developed and produced with music industry legend Quincy Jones, respected NYU academic Maureen Mahon, and preeminent hip-hop producer Dion ‘No I.D.’ Wilson
  • “Reich Richter Pärt,” a live performance/exhibition that pairs work by master painter Gerhard Richter with a new composition by Steve Reich and an extant composition by Arvo Pärt
  • “Norma Jeane Baker of Troy,” a reinvention of Euripides’ “Helen” by poet Anne Carson, starring Ben Whishaw and Renée Fleming
  • An original live production co-conceived by Chen Shi-Zheng and Kung Fu Panda screenwriters Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, with songs by Sia and choreography by Akram Khan
  • Expansive exhibitions devoted to extant and newly commissioned work by artists Trisha Donnelly and Agnes Denes

Rendering of the McCourt with seating, courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group

Rendering of the McCourt with standing room, courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group

Rendering of the Gallery on Level 4, courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group

Rendering of the Theater on Level 6, courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group

In addition, there is a rare opportunity for New York City-based, early-career artists of all disciplines to develop and showcase their work throughout The Shed’s spaces via the Open Call commissioning program. Beginning March 7, New York City artists are invited to submit a project proposal for Open Call online at theshed.org. The commissions for Open Call will follow a panel review by accomplished artists in relevant disciplines. The selected artists (or collectives) will receive a commissioning fee and the full support of The Shed to realize their projects.

The program reflects the organization’s mission to nurture artistic invention across the widest range of disciplines, often informed by cutting-edge technologies. Poots said, “The original idea for The Shed was relatively simple: provide a place for artists working in all disciplines to make and present work for audiences from all walks of life. Our opening programs begin to show how these artists, art forms and audiences can thrive together under one roof.”

Also announced was the appointment of Hans Ulrich Obrist, who will also remain the Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries in London, as Senior Program Advisor.

Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group, The Shed will span 200,000 square feet with six levels. The design was first unveiled in 2011 and construction kicked off in 2015 with the prefabrication of the steel and the motion system in Italy. It was designed to “physically transform to support artists’ most ambitious ideas” with a versatile theater (the telescoping outer shell can deploy from its position over the base onto the plaza to double the building’s footprint), two levels of gallery space, a rehearsal space, a creative lab, and a skylit event space.

The building, located on 30th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues, will have its main entrance through an 8,000-square-foot lobby on 30th Street, right below the High Line. In addition to the McCourt gift, Michael R. Bloomberg made a $75 million gift in support of the arts center last May.

the shed, hudson yard, shed opening
Temporary arts venue Prelude to The Shed. Rendering by NLÉ Works

Prior to the center’s opening next spring, an empty lot a block away will be temporarily transformed into a flexible public space–dubbed Prelude to The Shed–to host new work, collaboration, and dialogue. The space will be designed by the architect Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ Works and artist Tino Sehgal. A free multi-arts exhibit is scheduled to happen May 1st to May 13th.

Prelude to the Shed will host solo concerts by Atlanta-based R&B singer ABRA, Venezuelan electronic music producer and DJ Arca, and finally New York-based rapper Azealia Banks. Finally, expect panels, an experimental school hosted by artist Asad Raza, and “dance battle” performances.

In the meantime, check out these construction photos of how The Shed is coming along:

The Shed under construction. February 2018. Photo by Ed Lederman.

The Shed under construction as seen from the north, February 2018. Photo by Timothy Schenck. 

The Shed under construction as seen from the south, February 2018. Photo by Timothy Schenck. 

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