7th ENCATC International Study Tour to NYC

New York City, United States

Laurie Beckelman

Associate Director, The Shed

Laurie Beckelman is the Associate Director of The Shed, a nonprofit organization that is currently constructing a facility in New York City’s Hudson Yards that will commission, produce, and present a variety of cultural programming. Scheduled to open in 2019, the project is housed in a technically innovative 200,000 square foot space at the intersection of the High Line and Hudson Yards. Designed by Diller, Scofidio + Refro with the Rockwell Group, the structure is expressly designed to accommodate innovative forms of artistic and cultural expression. A leading expert in the fields of cultural organization development and preservation management, Beckelman was former Chair of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, where she managed the redevelopment plan for the Grand Central Terminal and guided the Empire State Development Corporation through the redevelopment of 42nd Street. She has served as Director of the New Building Program for the Museum of Art & Design at Columbus Circle and has been involved in the development of such projects as the Children’s Museum of the Arts, the Dia Center for the Arts and the Museum of Chinese in America.

The Shed (formerly known as Culture Shed and Hudson Yards Cultural Shed) is the name of an independent non-profitcultural organization, as well as the six-story, 170,000 square-foot building under development on the far west side of Manhattan within the 26 acres Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project, the largest New York City project since Rockefeller Center. Hudson Yards is being called “tomorrow’s city.” With a location adjacent to the northern leg of the High Line, its 28 acres span west from 10th Avenue to 12th Avenue and the Hudson River and north from 30th Street to 34th Street. The site is home to the final piece of the High Line park; an extension of the number 7 subway line; five office towers and nearly 5,000 residences; 14 acres of public space; a public school; and an active rail yard, from which it gets its name. The West Side Rail Yards were once destined to become a new West Side Stadium — a proposed football stadium that was part of the city’s centerpiece failed bid to attract the 2012 Summer Olympics. It took years of negotiations with local elected officials and Community Board 4 (CB4) to make sure a new plan for the area melded commercial, retail, affordable residential, open space, a new school, and arts and culture activities. Already under construction and scheduled to open in 2019, the Shed is planned as an international center for artistic and cultural innovation with a commitment to leading artists, as well as an ever-evolving mix of disciplines and audiences —including art, performance, film, design, food, fashion, and new combinations of cultural content. By its unique and forward-thinking architectural design and its use of industrial crane technology, the space can expand and contract to accommodate a huge variety of events and audiences. The building's roof features a retractable shed, which can close and open within 15 minutes and, when open, will be a publicly accessible outdoor space.