The Shed is opening in one year’s time, and, lest anyone forget, the forthcoming multi-arts center is staging a 12-day event this May in a temporary venue, demonstrating that, though the organization may not yet have their permanent home, its work is already underway.
The event series, known as A Prelude to The Shed, consists of concerts, site-specific youth dance performances, talks, and an experiment school among other programs, and will be housed in a temporary structure to be designed by architect Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ Works, in collaboration with artist Tino Sehgal.
Plans, revealed by The Shed on Tuesday, show the open-air locale atop a pre-fabricated 4,500-square-foot platform—about 1,600 square feet of which will be covered by a steel shed-like frame and a corrugated metal ceiling. Rolling seats will serve as both furniture and structural elements depending on the space’s occupants, according to Adeyemi, who won the Silver Lion Prize at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016 for his prototype Makoko Floating School.
“We made the structure so that it can be moved and transformed by people, enabling its participation in different formats of art, education, events, and public life,” he explained in a statement.
The project, like The Shed itself, draws inspiration from The Fun Palace Project, a conceptual prototype of a temporary community center designed by British architect Cedric Price in 1961 to activate vacant lots in London where new developments were pending.
“Like The Fun Palace, Prelude is a hybridization of exhibition and performance, functionally structured to encourage open engagement,” said Hans Ulrich Obrist, The Shed’s artistic advisor and artistic director at London’s Serpentine Galleries.
The influence of The Fun Palace is immediately evidenced by The Shed’s choice of location—an empty lot about a block away from the in-progress center, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro with the Rockwell Group—which rests on the edge of the up-and-coming Hudson Yards development, and was donated by The Shed’s board member Frank H. McCourt Jr. Price’s unrealized designs will also be displayed throughout the space on moveable carts.
Prelude physical space will begin construction in early April. Following the May event, the structure will be taken down and, as Adeyemi intended, stored for reuse.
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