The History of The Shed
The City selected Diller Scofidio + Renfro as the lead architect, with Rockwell Group as the collaborating architect, to develop their concept for a flexible structure that could house all the creative disciplines under one roof. In 2011, their design was unveiled: a stack of column-free exhibition and performance spaces encased by a telescoping outer shell that could double the footprint of the building for large installations, performances, and events when deployed over an adjacent plaza, or uncover a large open-air space for performances, exhibitions, and gatherings when nested.
In 2013, Doctoroff became the chairman and president of the nonprofit corporation formed to construct the building and create the organization to run it, originally named Culture Shed. In that capacity, he led the $550 million capital campaign and the Board of Directors, which included founding members Lew Frankfort, Diane von Furstenberg, Frank McCourt, Darla Moore, Benjamin Needell, Stephen Ross, Andres Santo Domingo, Jonathan Tisch, and Dasha Zhukova, and oversaw the building’s design and construction. Doctoroff managed the search to find an artistic director whose pioneering vision aligned with the ethos and ambitious objectives of the project. The search culminated in 2014 with the appointment of Alex Poots, the director of the Manchester International Festival and the artistic director of the Park Avenue Armory, as The Shed’s founding artistic director and CEO.
Under Poots’s leadership, the name of the organization was shortened to The Shed and the building’s design was modified to be more flexible, especially for performance. In January 2019, The Shed’s innovative home was named The Bloomberg Building in recognition of the transformative vision and leadership of Michael Bloomberg. The Shed opened to the public on April 5, 2019.
Since opening, The Shed has grown New York’s cultural landscape by supporting established and emerging artists who are advancing art forms and by collaborating with like-minded partners, cultural peers, and community organizations. Producing and welcoming innovative art and ideas, The Shed’s ever-evolving program has included immersive experiences, groundbreaking theater, major visual art exhibitions, pop and classical music concerts, and more.