Durkan Donates to the Shed

By Morgan Bulman
Jun 27, 2019 3:35 PM ET
Article

After nearly seven years of construction, the Shed — an eight-level, 200,000-square-foot structure in New York City’s burgeoning Hudson Yards neighborhood — is now open to the public. 

Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with the Rockwell Group, the building is set to be a haven for creative expression, with a dynamic line-up of concerts, poetry readings and art galleries, as well as a kung fu-inspired musical later this summer, already underway. And many of these artists — dancers, musicians, writers and more — will rehearse on a floor custom-made by Durkan from Mohawk Group.

Two years in the making

Marked by steel, metal and poured concrete, the Shed’s interior looks much like the area it calls home. Yet unlike most of its other stages’ industrial aesthetics, the Tisch Skylights and Lab on the top level is distinctly different, largely in part due to the floor.

“The design team at Rockwell Group had a very clear vision of what they wanted,” shared David Duncan, senior vice president of Durkan. “Everything we do at Durkan is custom, and the Shed was looking for a one-of-a-kind wood product. Because our brand is all about customization and bringing to life what people imagine, Durkan was a perfect fit. I love doing big, bold projects and we were so excited to work on something as iconic as the Shed.” 

Over a two-year period, Durkan helped craft, tweak and supply 7,500-square feet of solid white oak. Although heavy foot traffic was an obvious concern, the big push for hardwood from Rockwell Group derived from a deep desire to provide an events space that juxtaposed the rest of the building’s uniform starkness.

Selecting solid wood

As its namesake suggests, the Tisch Skylights and Lab includes an ample amount of natural light, transforming the already matte finished wood to appear even silkier in texture. With un-blocked views of both the sky and Hudson River, the hardwood floors echo the overall concept of Hudson Yards: an industrial development surrounded by nature. 

Adam Ward, senior product director of hardwood and laminate for Mohawk Flooring, worked closely with the team at Rockwell to create a floor that portrayed an inviting feeling of velvety softness and warmth. 

“They wanted a true solid product. The wood we chose is very clean, no knots and very even, with only slight variation from plank to plank. And, we enhanced its natural coloration while also offering two different widths to create an interesting focal point,” he explained.

A pop of pattern

Although the lab can host up to 500 people, it can also be divided into two different rooms with the help of removable walls, which required a unique installation. Featuring two distinct widths, 3- and 5-inch wood boards were alternatively nailed down to create two diamond-like geometric patterns in the center. 

“It was a laborious installation,” said Ward, “but resulted in a great visual effect." 

And, like everything in the Shed, these floors are a work of art.