Just over a year ago, renderings were unveiled for a public art piece in one of the most anticipated developments in New York City, Hudson Yards. The images revealed “Vessel,” an enormous, intricate structure that many believe is guaranteed to become a new city landmark, designed by Thomas Heatherwick.
The soon-to-be fifteen-story tall shell has surpassed the halfway mark. The structure will end up with 154 interconnected staircases, making a total of 2,500 individual steps. Vessel will rise from a diameter of 50 feet, and widen to 150 feet at the top. There will be an elevator for those who are unable to climb.
The bronzed steel and concrete pieces were fabricated in Monfalcone, Italy, and the sculpture is being assembled in the center of the five-acre public space. The piece is not without controversy, and Heatherwick claims the design of the vessel was influenced by ancient Indian step-wells. But New York Times writer Ted Loos likened the sculpture to a jungle gym, or a honeycomb, in a piece entitled “A $150 Million Stairway to Nowhere on the Far West Side.”
The Vessel will cost more than an F-35 military aircraft, but either way, it is still one of the most exciting public spaces expected to open in 2018.
Landscape architect Thomas Woltz, of Nelson Byrd Woltz, designed the public space at Hudson Yards. Press materials declare that the square will “feature groves of trees, woodlands plants, perennial gardens and a 200-foot-long fountain that will mirror the flow of a river.” There will also be a new entrance to the High Line at the southern edge of the square, at 10th Avenue and 30th Street.
For more details about the project, see YIMBY’s previous article here.