On May 1st, A Prelude to the Shed kicked off at Hudson Yards on a yet-to-be-developed site on the corner of 31st street and 10th Avenue. The two week event series is literally, a preview to the opening of The Shed, designed by Diller Scofio + Renfro with Rockwell Group, projected to open in spring 2019, will be a new flexible, transformable arts center whose shell can literally slide open to accommodate all types of performing arts. The Shed’s mission of hybridizing multi-disciplinary art forms under one roof was apparent on opening day of A Prelude to the Shed with the event “A stroll through the fun palace,” that explores The Fun Palace, an unrealized architectural project by Cedric Price and Joan Littlewood from 1961 that influenced many of today’s leading architects, like Richard Rogers, along with, the forthcoming Shed.
The Shed at Hudson Yards, still under construction
A Prelude to the Shed space is designed by Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ Works, in collaboration with artist Tino Sehgal. One site opens on to the street along 10th Avenue, with a set of steps that rise from the sidewalk onto the stage. Another entrance is along the construction barriers on 32nd Street. A courtyard of gravel is located next to the temporary structure, with an elevated cafe behind where food and drink (including alcohol) is served from a repurposed shipping container.
“A stroll through the fun palace,” will be on every day starting at 11:30 am, featuring a model of the Fun Palace was on display, along with three stations set up with archival materials and a knowledgable expert in design and architecture that can speak to visitors about the Fun Palace. The aim here is to shift the paradigm of architectural learning, transforming the relationship between the primary source material and the visitors. Interspersed through this are performances that happen each afternoon, a reimagining of the ballet Pax de Deux, dance battles, live solo concerts by singers and DJs including Azaelia Banks, Arca and ABRA, along with conversations and lectures.
“Like the Fun Palace, Prelude is a hybridization of exhibition and performance, functionally structured to encourage open engagement with audiences and fresh, collaborative approaches from artists,” said Hans Ulich Obrist, the Shed’s Senior Program Advisor.
When The Shed is completed, its deployed shell will create a 17,000-square-foot space, to be named The McCourt, after Shed board member Frank H. McCourt Jr., who gave a $45 million gift to the arts center. The Shed, when combined with an adjacent gallery space will result in a 30,000-square-foot space for events, nearly the size of Grand Central Terminal’s main atrium, able to accommodate 1,250 people seated or 2,700 people standing. When not deployed, the space will be an open air public space. Inside the adjacent space will be two levels of column-free galleries, a theater, a lab, a rehearsal space, and event space.
While The Shed is under construction, do check out A Prelude to the Shed. The unique event makes for a fabulous break in the work day, especially under the sun!
Here are a few more photos of the space:
A model of the Fun Palace
Check out the upcoming programming for The Shed. On a visit to the Hudson Yards area, don’t miss the inclined funicular elevator in the subway station! Read more about Hudson Yards here.