Magnificent Metal Monday – The Shed in NYC

The Shed’s Bloomberg Building as seen from the High Line, February 2019. Photo: Brett Beyer. Project Design Credit: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Lead Architect, and Rockwell Group, Collaborating Architect.

Magnificent Metal Monday (MMM) takes us to the “Big Apple” this Monday (only fitting on this “post-holiday Monday given that it’s home to the annual Thanksgiving Macy’s parade!). The Shed, a new Center for the Arts, is located in New York City’s Hudson Yards and was designed by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group. Time Magazine rated it one of the Best Architecture Projects of 2019, as reported recently by ArchDaily.

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 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 is a space for large-scale performances, installations, and events, and is formed when The Shed’s telescoping outer shell is deployed from over the base building and glides along rails onto the adjoining plaza (see link below for video).

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.

Unique kinetic system based on gantry cranes

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.

The goal of The Shed is to present groundbreaking work for 21st-century audiences so it’s no surprise that its groundbreaking design has been recognized as one of the best architectural projects of 2019.

Check out this awesome video of The Shed’s movable shell in action.

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