New York's creative scene gets a $300 million 'shed'

Diller Scofidio + Renfro teams up with stage set designers extraordinaire Rockwell Group for Hudson Yards project
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Culture Shed - Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Culture Shed - Diller Scofidio + Renfro

The creative industries are to get a further boost in Manhattan with the Culture Shed. It’s to be a five-storey affair housing lots of flexible space (that means no columns) for the creative industries of visual art, dance, theatre, music and media, along with design.

When it comes to proportions, the term ‘shed’ here is used to imply an out-of-town shopping experience rather than something one might find at the end of a British suburban garden. The £300m not-for-profit hub is a joint effort between culture specialists Diller Scofidio + Renfro along with stage set designers extraordinaire Rockwell Group, headed by its charismatic leader, David Rockwell.

 

Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Diller Scofidio + Renfro

It sits on the waterfront in the newly-developed Hudson Yards district, and is intended to act as an anchor for Manhattan’s far West Side. Much of the details are still under wraps, but this we do know: designed as a 150-ft-tall giant glass box in a synthetic shell that can slide open, it’s positioned at the base of an apartment block – the work of the same team.

Set up by Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, DS+R is now 100 strong. They were responsible for Section 2 of New York’s High Line, which opened two years ago, so this is something of a return visit for them, as the Culture Shed sits alongside it.

 

Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Diller Scofidio + Renfro

The New York Times just reported that $50 million set aside for the Culture Shed will be "New York City’s biggest cultural capital grant this year — and an unusually generous contribution to an arts group that has yet to hire staff members, stage a performance or set a construction budget." The Times says that the arts institution has emerged as a "favoured project" of the Bloomberg administration "and is championed by Kate D. Levin, the city’s cultural affairs commissioner, who serves on the Culture Shed’s board."

Local and international creatives alike should be making a splash there by the end of 2017. The current rumour is that New York Fashion Week is apparently planning to relocate there.

Meanwhile if you're planning a trip to New York sometime soon be sure to download a copy of the Phaidon Architecture Travel Guide app before you go. With just a few elegant swipes you'll find the most important new buildings, not just in the big apple but wherever you may be in the world. From innovative Ethiopian tree houses through to Malibu's glass-skinned mansions, by way of galleries, offices, stations and flagship stores, you'll never be without something to gaze at admiringly.


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