To be located at the juncture between the High Line and Hudson Yards, the Shed, a high profile new performance arts space, will offer an innovative approach to cultural space design. Expected to open in 2019, it involves a flexible plan that will allow the building to change shape, to expand and retract, and to morph to fit the desires and needs of the artists who will display their work there. The Shed, designed by Diller Scofidio +Renfro , will be able to be an open-air space or a closed one subdividable ito multiple smaller spaces. It will also offer gallery space, several theaters, and free rehearsal labs for up-and-coming artists. It will also offer a hall that will allow for the manipulation of temperature, light, and sound.

Earlier this week, the Shed received a $75 million dollar donation from ex-mayor Michael Bloomberg, who left office in 2013 but still continues to be an important actor in New York City’s civic landscape. In an interview with the New York Times, Bloomberg stated that “I’ve always believed the arts have a unique ability to benefit cities by attracting creative individuals of every kind, strengthening communities, and driving economic growth.” He went on to express his view that the Shed will elevate the city’s status in these areas, allowing different artists to present their work and to incubate their talents, drawing different crowds attracted to new technologies and supporting New York’s vibrant culture.

Rendering for the Shed by Diller Scofio +Renfro

Bloomberg has donated to the Shed before; just prior to leaving office in 2013, he appropriated $75 million to the then-new project. Today, supplemented by Bloomberg’s recent contribution, almost $451 million has been raised in support of the project. On its website, the Shed has branded itself as “the first 21st century center for the arts,” adding that it will “welcome those artists who take risks, advance their fields and address the significant issues of our time.”

The wheels, already in place, show how the structure will expand and contract

Bloomberg’s donation is a proclamation of support for the Shed’s vision, an expression of faith in the power of showmanship, popular culture, and the unifying power of the arts. It also represents an effort to help New York maintain its position at the cutting edge of the artistic landscape. In an increasingly digital age, when each new app and product presents consumers with new forms of stimulation, a space that offers a multimedia experience and that utilizes shape and sound could become a model for innovation in the years to come.

Next, read about the Top 10 Secrets of the High Line.