The Shed (Hudson Yards)
Seen in May 2017
15 Hudson Yards,|
30th Street between 10th Avenue and 11th Avenue, New York, NY 10001
|Public transit access|
The Shed (formerly known as Culture Shed and Hudson Yards Cultural Shed) is a cultural center under construction on the far west side of Manhattan, within the Hudson Yards. Scheduled to open in 2019, the Shed will host activities in a wide range of cultural areas. The Shed is located adjacent to the northern leg of the High Line, within the Chelsea gallery district. The cultural center is maintained by an independent nonprofit cultural organization of the same name. The CEO/Artistic Director for the Shed is Alex Poots.
Construction on the Shed started in 2015, using a design from Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group. The Shed features several architectural features, including a retractable shed, a 500-person theater, and exhibition space. The plans for the cultural center have drawn mixed public reviews, as well as high praise from numerous art institutions, although it was initially criticized by the community.
In January 2005, the New York City Council approved the rezoning of about 60 blocks from 28th to 43rd Streets; in 2009, after the stadium failed to win state approval, the West Side Yard was similarly rezoned. As rezoned, the Hudson Yards area will have 25,800,000 square feet (2,400,000 m2) of Class A office space, 20,000 housing units, two million square feet of hotel space, 750-seat public school, one million square feet of retail and more than 20 acres of public open space, which includes building a subway extension of the 7 train to help encourage development of the Hudson Yards area.
In May 2010, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) leased the air rights over the rail yard for 99 years, at a price of US$1 billion to a joint venture of Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group, which will build a platform above both the eastern and western portions of the yard on which to construct the buildings, including what was then known as the Culture Shed.
In April 2013, the Related/Oxford joint venture obtained a $475 million construction loan from parties including Barry Sternlicht's Starwood Property Group and luxury retailer Coach. The financing deal was unique in several aspects, including the fact that it included a construction mezzanine loan, that Coach was a lender on both the debt and equity sides, and that the MTA helped create the "severable lease" structure that allowed for the loans.
Funding and land ownership
As part of the Hudson Yards rezoning plan, the Culture Shed, a relatively small six-story building compared to the Hudson Yards skyscrapers, is being built at the south side of the Hudson Yards development site. The city retains ownership of the land on which the Culture Shed will be built and has provided Capital Grant funding for the project. Funding for the Culture Shed was secured from the City in July 2013.
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg quietly donated $15 million to the Culture Shed in 2012, then added another $60 million of donations five years later. The city had also given $50 million toward the project in 2013, representing the single largest capital grant given by the city that year; this funding was later raised to $75 million. As of September 2017[update], the shed received $421 million in donations, short of the $500 million needed for initial operating costs.
The Culture Shed broke ground in 2015 and is scheduled to open in 2019, though construction will be complete in 2018. The name of the space was changed to simply "The Shed" in 2016.
The design of the Shed's building is a collaboration between two New York City architectural firms: Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group. The Shed Organization, a nonprofit organization, was formed in 2012 to oversee construction of the Shed, and eventually will run the building when it opens in 2019.
Construction of the Shed over the West Side Yard, began after caissons were sunk to support a platform over the tracks. The platform supporting the towers, comprising 16 bridges, was completed in late 2014. The construction of the building itself began in mid-2015. The retractable shed was completed by 2017.
Although early reports stated that the building would open in 2017 or 2018, a 2015 report placed the opening date at 2019. As of May 2017[update], the pace of construction indicated that the Shed was projected to open in either 2018 or 2019.
The Hudson Rail Yards area is about 26 acres (110,000 m2). The Shed, at the base of Hudson Yards Tower D, is a 170,000-square-foot (16,000 m2) visual arts and performing arts center is to be located at the area's southern edge, and there is also to be an exhibition space in the Shed. The structure will include 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2) of column-free exhibition space, 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) of "museum-quality" space, a theater with seating for up to 500 people, and an expandable, 16,000-square-foot (1,500 m2) shed that uses industrial crane technology, allowing the space to expand and contract to accommodate many events and audiences. Viewers of indoor shows and exhibitions will be charged admission.
The Shed's main entrance will be on 30th Street under the High Line; secondary entrances will be located on 31st Street, atop the platform. When complete, the Shed's 31st Street entrance would be located close to the 34th Street–Hudson Yards subway entrance. There will be two galleries indoors on the first and second levels. On the third level will be a flexible space that can be used for performances or exhibits. The building's roof features a 8,000,000-pound (3,600,000 kg) retractable shed, which can close and open within 15 minutes; when the shed is retracted, the open-air plaza will be a publicly accessible outdoor space. The shed retracts on six wheels each 6 feet (1.8 m) in diameter, powered by a total of six 15-horsepower motors. The Shed is directly adjacent to 15 Hudson Yards and the High Line.
Events, commissions, and management
The Shed is planned to host many cultural events including for art, performance, film, design, food, fashion, and new combinations of cultural content. At least one event, New York Fashion Week, is considering moving to the Shed for all of its exhibitions.
In 2014, Alex Poots was named the CEO/Artistic Director of the Shed. He was formerly the director of the Manchester International Festival and Park Avenue Armory prior to assuming his position at the Shed.
In Fall 2016, the Shed also started a citywide dance program about social justice issues. It also partnered with the MIT Media Lab to assist artists who were creating works involving virtual reality and artificial intelligence. In May 2017, Kevin Slavin of the MIT Media Lab was designated as the Chief Science and Technology Officer for the Shed.
The first permanent art commission for the Shed was announced in May 2017. Artist Lawrence Weiner was commissioned to decorate the plaza with pavers arranged into 12-foot (3.7 m) letters, which would spell the phrase "In front of itself".
The Shed's construction was initially opposed by local community leadership. Board members on Manhattan Community Board 4 stated that the Shed "could lack class", that the word "culture" is too vague for the name of such an exhibition space, and that problems could arise when a 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) space is closed off twice a year for two weeks (adding up to a month annually) for New York Fashion Week. Community board members also state that when the retractable roof is closed, 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) of open public space would be lost. Additionally, some expressed concerns that the large value of the Capital Grant allocation—US$50 million—was too much money to award to a building that did not yet exist.
The Shed has drawn mixed public reviews, as well as high praise from numerous art institutions. In an editorial for the art website Artsy, one writer stated that although "the building's innovative architecture seems ready to withstand the weight of [the Shed's] grand ambitions", the construction of the Shed also had the unforeseen side effect of "making New York ever less accessible for those without financial means", considering the poor neighborhoods located close to Hudson Yards.
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