Rendering of The Shed. Rendering courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

The Shed’s Bloomberg Building - Maximum Flexibility as the Quality for the City of the Future

Since April 2019, The Shed’s Bloomberg Building will become a new design destination for all those plans to visit New York.

The Shed is an arts center dedicated to commissioning, developing, and presenting original works of art across all disciplines (arts, visual arts and popular culture), for all audiences. The Shed as a Client announces opening season on April 5, 2019.

The Shed’s building is located in New York, on Manhattan's west side close to Hudson Yards. The Shed’s building has been named The Bloomberg Building in honor of Mike Bloomberg ex-Mayor of New York City.

Functional organization

The Shed was Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Lead Architect, and Rockwell Group, Collaborating Architect. The Shed’s Bloomberg Building is an innovative 18.500 m2 structure that can physically transform to suit the needs of a range of productions and installations.

The Shed’s is eight-level building with includes following functions: two expansive, column-free galleries ( 2.340 m2) of museum space (on Level 2 and 4); a 500-seat a versatile theatre (on level 6) that can be subdivided into more intimate spaces.

The Shed, December 2018. Photo: Brett Beyer. Project Design Credit: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Lead Architect, and Rockwell Group, Collaborating Architect.
The Shed, December 2018. Photo: Brett Beyer. Project Design Credit: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Lead Architect, and Rockwell Group, Collaborating Architect.

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, (also designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group). On the top floor are located The Tisch Skylights for events and artist rehearsals, and The Tisch Lab for artist development. This allows the bulk of The Shed’s base building to be devoted to programmable space for art.

The McCourt is The Shed’s most iconic space, formed when the movable outer shell is deployed over the adjoining plaza to create a 1.600 m², sound, and temperature-controlled hall for large-scale performances, installations, and events. It can accommodate a seated audience of approximately 1.200 and a standing audience of more than 2.000.

The Plaza is The Shed’s usable outdoor space. When the shell is nested over the base building, the 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.

Flexibility: not only of the space

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. An 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 to create The McCourt space for an infinite variety of uses. 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.

Animation courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

When space is not needed, the movable shell can nest over the base building, opening The Plaza for outdoor use and programming.

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 building designed this way, provides maximum flexibility not only space but also the infrastructure, relations indoor/outdoor and enables changes and use in accordance with the needs of the City of the Future

Idea, architectural research, technology and new materials enabled the realization of advanced kinetic solutions

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's movable shell. Video courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

The movable shell travels on a double-wheel track based on gantry crane technology commonly found in shipping ports and railway systems. A rack-and-pinion drive moves the shell forward and back on four single-axle and two double-axle bogie wheels. The deployment of the shell takes approximately five minutes. The exposed steel diagrid frame of the movable shell is clad in translucent pillows of durable and lightweight Teflon-based polymer, called ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) . With the thermal properties of insulating glass at a fraction of the weight, the translucent ETFE allows light to pass through and can withstand hurricane-force winds. Measuring almost 21 meters in length in some areas, The Shed’s ETFE panels are some of the largest ever produced.

The Shed’s wheels. Project Design Credit: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Lead Architect, and Rockwell Group, Collaborating Architect.
The Shed’s wheels. Project Design Credit: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Lead Architect, and Rockwell Group, Collaborating Architect.

The Estimated budget for The Shed’s Bloomberg Building is $550 million. It includes building costs, organizational start-up expenses, and a newly formed Commissioning Fund, an initiative to support the creation of new work at The Shed.

The Shed. Photo: Brett Beyer. Project Design Credit: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Lead Architect, and Rockwell Group, Collaborating Architect.
The Shed. Photo: Brett Beyer. Project Design Credit: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Lead Architect, and Rockwell Group, Collaborating Architect.

When opened The Shed’s Bloomberg Building will be the 21st-century space for art lovers in New York. We look forward to the opening scheduled for 5 April 2019.