The Shed’s telescoping outer shell glides onto the adjoining plaza

The Shed is a nonprofit cultural organization that commissions, develops, and presents original works of art, across all disciplines, for all audiences. The Shed’s Bloomberg Building in New York City, a project by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with the Rockwell Group, can physically transform to support artists’ most ambitious ideas. Its eight-level base building includes two levels of gallery space; the versatile Griffin Theater; and The Tisch Skylights, which comprise a rehearsal space, a creative lab for local artists, and a skylit event space. The McCourt, an iconic space for large-scale performances, installations, and events, is formed when The Shed’s telescoping outer shell is deployed from over the base building and glides along rails onto the adjoining plaza.

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 Shed’s 120-foot tall (37 m) movable shell is made of an exposed steel diagrid frame, clad in translucent cushions of a strong and lightweight Teflon- based polymer, called ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE). This material has the thermal properties of insulating glass at a fraction of the weight. The Shed’s ETFE panels are some of the largest ever produced, measuring almost 70 feet (21 m) in length in some areas.

The Shed has an energy-conscious design using a radiant heating system within the plaza construction and a variable forced air heating and cooling system serving the occupied portions of the shell for maximum efficiency. The building is designed to achieve LEEDSilver certification and to exceed New York’s energy codes by 25%, which is required of all new buildings on city-owned land or using city-provided funds. Despite the shell’s two-million-cubic-foot interior, only the lower 30% will need to be temperature controlled. The Plaza has a radiant-heat floor plate.

The Shed’s kinetic system is inspired by the industrial past of the High Line and the West Side Rail Yard. Based on gantry cranes commonly found in shipping ports and railway systems, the kinetic system comprises a sled drive on top of the base building and bogie wheels guided along a pair of 273-foot-long (83 m) rails on Level 2 (Plaza Level). The primary materials are structural steel, ETFE, insulated glass, and reinforced concrete.

Design and info © Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group

Images © Iwan Baan and Timothy Schenck

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