Heatherwick Studio’s “Vessel” Will Take the Form of an Endless Stairway at New York’s Hudson Yards

Heatherwick Studio's "Vessel" Will Take the Form of an Endless Stairway at New York's Hudson Yards, Interior View of the Vessel. Image Courtesy of Forbes Massie-Heatherwick Studio
Interior View of the Vessel. Image Courtesy of Forbes Massie-Heatherwick Studio
 

Thomas Heatherwick is bringing a new public monument to New York City. Today, Heatherwick Studiorevealed the first renderings of “Vessel,” a 15-story tall occupiable sculpture comprised of 154 intricately interconnecting flights of stairs that will serve as the centerpiece of the new Hudson Yards development in west Manhattan.

View of the Special Events Plaza. Image Courtesy of VisualHouse-NelsonByrdWoltzUpper Level View Through the Vessel. Image Courtesy of Forbes Massie-Heatherwick StudioView of the Public Square and Gardens Looking South from 33rd St.. Image Courtesy of Forbes Massie-Heatherwick StudioView of the Pavilion Grove. Image Courtesy of VisualHouse-NelsonByrdWoltz+5

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View of the Public Square and Gardens Looking South from 33rd St.. Image Courtesy of Forbes Massie-Heatherwick Studio

View of the Public Square and Gardens Looking South from 33rd St.. Image Courtesy of Forbes Massie-Heatherwick Studio

Inspired by the mesmerizing geometries of Indian stepwells, Vessel’s lattice calls to mind a beehive or jungle gym – and will indeed offer a workout to visitors game enough to climb the almost 2,500 individual steps within the structure, nearly a mile’s worth of vertical pathways.

The object’s form takes on a conical shape, widening from 50 feet at the base to 150 feet at the top. And if the geometries alone weren’t eye catching enough, the steel structural frame has been clad in a polished copper-colored steel skin, which will provide warped reflections of the plaza below.

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Upper Level View Through the Vessel. Image Courtesy of Forbes Massie-Heatherwick Studio

Upper Level View Through the Vessel. Image Courtesy of Forbes Massie-Heatherwick Studio

“We had to think of what could act as the role of a landmarker,” said Thomas Heatherwick. “Something that could help give character and particularity to the space.”

The structure will be located in the central plaza of Hudson Yards, where it will be surrounded by native perennial gardens and a canopy of native trees, as well as a variety of seating options where visitors to the nearby Culture Shed or High Line can rest their feet.

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View of the Special Events Plaza. Image Courtesy of VisualHouse-NelsonByrdWoltz

View of the Special Events Plaza. Image Courtesy of VisualHouse-NelsonByrdWoltz

The plaza platform itself constitutes quite the technical innovation, as it acts as a ventilating cover for the rail yards while also serving as a reservoir for site drainage and storm-water management.

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View of the Pavilion Grove. Image Courtesy of VisualHouse-NelsonByrdWoltz

View of the Pavilion Grove. Image Courtesy of VisualHouse-NelsonByrdWoltz

The cost of “Vessel” is estimated at $150 million, double the original budget of $75 million.

Read more about the unveiling, here.

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