The Shed at Hudson Yards: What to Know Before You Go

For one thing—this is not your grandparents’ idea of a shed.

Photo courtesy of the Shed/Facebook

The name is deceptively humble, implying something utilitarian and modest when in actuality this new addition to the gaggle of towering buildings collectively referred to as Hudson Yards is—like the structures that surround it—large, inventive, and quite swanky. According to the Shed’s chairman of the board, they chose the name because it implies “an open-ended structure with tools.” This description seems apt, though to be clear, there isn’t anything scrappy about this new shed in the High Line‘s backyard.

What Is It?

The Shed officially opens to the public on Friday, April 5. The $150 million construction project that is the buzzing beehive (or alien egg–resembling) Vessel pales in comparison to the Shed’s roughly $475 million. More than simply a gallery or concert venue, it will commission a wide breadth of site-specific and cross-disciplinary art projects. Its largest theater measures 17,000 square feet and is housed beneath a retractable roof on wheels that can be completely carted away in order to create an open-air auditorium (bring on the summer!). Along with the Oculus in FiDi, it’s basically a transformer masquerading as one of New York’s cultural centers. (Perhaps Michael Bay will lead some of the Shed’s future big-budget programming?)

the shed hudson yards
Photo courtesy of the Shed/Facebook

What’s It For?

When Daniel L. Doctoroff originally conceived of Hudson Yards more than 20 years ago, it was part of an ambition to bid on the Olympics. While that obviously didn’t come to fruition, the Shed remains a torchbearer of the real-estate project’s cultural aspirations. Explicitly not a museum, its mission is to maintain a role in supporting art that is both community facing and future oriented. The Shed may have goals that include surpassing the likes of Lincoln Center as a cultural touchstone. We can’t predict the future, but we can start placing bets.

Who’s Coming?

To begin with: Björk! Yes, the enigmatic Icelandic singer—whose presence may have you mourning the untimely death of budget airline WOW, which briefly made Reykjavik a somewhat affordable destination. The former Sugarcubes frontwoman with the far-ranging pipes is bringing what she considers her most elaborate stage show to date to the Shed, May 6–June 1, and our collective imagination is running wild with speculation. Before we get ahead of ourselves: Starting this week on the program, you can see the Soundtrack of America concert series, celebrating black musicians. Check it out while you’re still waiting on tickets to the Basquiat exhibition.

Photo courtesy of Björk/Facebook

But the Shed’s programming won’t be one-note. Aside from musical acts, Ben Whishaw and Renée Fleming will star in the play Norma Jean Baker of Troy later this month; the director of Sorry to Bother You, Boots Riley, will give a lecture on May 10; and visual artists Tony Cokes and Oscar Murillo are putting up a multimedia installation in June. Get your planners ready!

What’s for Dinner?

Danny Meyer, head of the Shake Shack empire, is opening an all-day restaurant and bar called Cedric’s at the Shed. Like everything else in the Shed that was designed to be multipurpose and transformable, Cedric’s is an eatery that moonlights as a performance space, with the capacity to hold a comparatively intimate group of 121 people. The menu has remained a well-kept secret, to be discovered by diners starting this Friday. Pro foodie tips: Cedric’s does not accept reservations, and the kitchen will be open even on days when there are no scheduled performances.

Photo courtesy of Danny Meyer/Facebook

Want to plan a night of culture? We’ll reserve the tickets!