Above, an image of The Shed at Hudson Yards. Photo credit: Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Renowned architect, Charles Renfro, of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) recently joined Fuigo CEO, Maury Riad, for a conversation on achieving holistic excellence in the design process. With an impressive resume of designs whose technological feats have the ability to suspend reality, there is perhaps no one better suited to discuss the role of technology in architectural design. With the upcoming completion of The Shed at Hudson Yards, Renfro and Riad discuss the opportunities for technology in creating brilliant design.
BOSTON's ICA Building and the interplay between technology and architecture
Through the cantilever shape of Boston’s ICA waterfront art museum, Renfro’s and DS+R’s technologically profound visions and abilities are awe-inspiring. Speaking of that specific project, Renfro notes that the building’s unique design was born from a shared desire of the city of the Boston and DS+R to create an immersive, single-story art museum for the city. What Renfro and DS+R delivered was a building that went beyond what the client, in this case the city of Boston, had asked. Collaborating with brilliant technological minds, this building represents a sort of hidden technology. The ICA building demonstrates a refined merging of technology with the structure itself, allowing visitors to first appreciate the feeling and experience of the space before they even consider the how of the technological feat. This, Renfro explains, is so often the goal of technology in DS+R's architectural designs; technology becomes hidden and merged into the experience, imbuing the visitor with a sense of almost inexplicable, joyful warmth.
publicly embracing technology with the Shed at Hudson Yards
Through The Shed, a recent and much anticipated addition to New York’s Hudson Yards development, Renfro notes that its movable architecture marks an important divergence from the aforementioned approach to technology in the architectural design process. The Shed will feature a telescoping outer shell that deploys over the plaza adjoining the building to provide a 120-foot-high, temperature-controlled hall, allowing the building to expand and contract. With The Shed, technology is at the forefront of both the building’s form and function. Renfro notes, that the idea of moveable or adaptable architecture is not new, in fact there are notable allusions to this concept throughout architectural history, including Le Centre Pompidou. What makes The Shed so unique and exciting though, he suggests, is that it is built to be structurally adaptable and functionally flexible. Designed with an awareness of all of the possible uses of an art center (performances, installations, etc.) and set against a backdrop of the ever-evolving demands of modern technology, The Shed was designed to suit to every conceivable artistic use.
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