By 2019, the Hudson Yards on Manhattan‘s West Side will host The Shed. Half a century ago, chances are most people would have presumed that any mention of a “shed” in the rail yards would be used to house locomotives. Now, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Designed by New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group, The Shed will be home to New York City’s “first newly established 21st-century center for the arts.

Rising to six stories and covering 200,000-square-feet, The Shed will comprise a museum, theater/performance space, rehearsal area, and an artists’ lab. “We will work with original artists and thinkers from across all art forms and disciplines, to produce and present their new work for the widest range of audiences from NYC and around the world,” said The Shed in its mission statement. “We will welcome those artists who take risks, advance their fields, and address the significant issues of our time.”

Location. (Courtesy The Shed)

Location. (Courtesy The Shed)

“As NYC’s first newly established 21st-century center for the arts, we will benefit from the latest technology, offering powerful opportunities for our artists and our audiences,” the mission statement continued. This leads to The Shed’s most defining feature: a telescoping shell mounted on rails. Mimicking the great cranes that were once commonplace on the piers stretching into the Hudson River, the shell can support (literally and figuratively) a wide range of activities when it’s rolled onto the adjacent plaza.


The 20,000 square-foot public plaza can be transformed into an multitude of venues, most notably a 1,250-seat theater (up from its other 500-seater capacity venue). The theater will be created by lifting a screen on one of the main building’s upper levels and replacing it with seating. At 120 feet high, the space can be a sound- and temperature-controlled hall that can also cater for an audience of 3,000 members around a performance space. It can also house large-scale artwork. When not covering the plaza, the shell can be used as a canvas for screenings.

Watch the telescopic framework in action in the video below:

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