Part of what makes this weekend’s official opening of the Shed so momentous is the sheer breadth of its programming.
That is also what makes it a bit overwhelming.
Over the course of its inaugural season, the Shed — the low-lying, eye-catching, $475-million arts center amid the towers of Hudson Yards — will present concerts by Björk, a history of African-American music and exhibitions featuring the works of emerging New York City artists. It will pair Gerhard Richter with Steve Reich, Ben Whishaw with Renée Fleming, kung fu with the songs of Sia.
Here, we offer a guide to navigating the Shed, which officially opens on Friday: what’s on each floor, where to pause for a meal or a drink, and even how to get inside the building in the first place.
ENTRANCES Take your pick. The main entrance, on the south side of the building at West 30th Street, leads to the Shed’s lobby, restaurant and shop. It’s situated directly underneath the High Line. There is another entrance on the north side, facing the Hudson Yards Plaza.
COAT CHECK The north entrance will take you directly here.
SUBWAY The closest line is the 7; the entrance is just north of the Shed, between 33rd and 34th Streets, on the Hudson Yards plaza.
ESCALATORS These run along the south side of the building. Stairs and elevators are also available.
1. LOBBY Here you’ll find ticket sales for the Shed’s programming, along with a shop (by McNally Jackson) and Cedric’s at the Shed, a restaurant and bar by the star chef Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. Cedric’s will be open to the public throughout the day.
2. LEVEL 2 GALLERY Saturday through June 2, this capacious space will host “Reich Richter Pärt,” an installation that pairs the visual art of Gerhard Richter with live musical performances of original scores by Steve Reich and Arvo Pärt. The Richter-Pärt collaboration is an import from the Manchester International Festival; but Mr. Reich’s contribution, a musical analogue of Mr. Richter’s “Patterns” series, is a premiere.
3. THE McCOURT When the Shed’s signature shell is extended over the plaza, the building adds a cavernous space ideal for big concerts. (This is where Björk will perform in May.) And that’s exactly how the Shed officially opens on Friday: with the five-concert series “Soundtrack of America,” an exploration of the influence of African-American music on contemporary culture. It was conceived by Steve McQueen, will spotlight up-and-coming musicians, and runs through April 14.
4. THE PLAZA If the shell is nested over the building, however, the plaza is in the open air, and open to the public. Here the Shed has a permanent installation, Lawrence Weiner’s text-based work “IN FRONT OF ITSELF.”
5. LEVEL 4 GALLERY Opening here on Saturday, and on view through May 30, is an exhibition of new and recent work by the artist Trisha Donnelly.
6. KENNETH C. GRIFFIN THEATER Inaugurating this 500-seat space is “Norma Jean Baker of Troy,” which runs from Saturday through May 19. The genre-blurring work, by the poet Anne Carson, is a monologue for Ben Whishaw, with sung interludes by the superstar soprano Renée Fleming.
Elsewhere at Hudson Yards
7. THE SHOPS Beyond this retail space’s razzle-dazzle are dining options from reliably talented chefs like Thomas Keller (TAK Room), David Chang (Kawi), Costas Spiliadis (Estiatorio Milos) and José Andrés (Mercado Little Spain). The Snark Park offers changing exhibitions, and more art is to be found inside Neiman Marcus (including a wall of photographs by Bill Cunningham).
8. THE VESSEL Thomas Heatherwick’s Instagram magnet requires tickets for timed entry. (They can be booked online.) It has been compared to a shawarma and a trash can; what will it look like to you?
9. EDGE The observation deck at 30 Hudson Yards — a spear-shaped cantilevered balcony that sticks out 65 feet from the skyscraper — is opening soon.
10. THE HIGH LINE Before Hudson Yards there was the High Line, designed in part by Elizabeth Diller, the same architect behind the Shed. Visitors can come and go from the elevated park, whose northernmost stretch surrounds Hudson Yards, near the Shed’s main entrance at 30th Street.