Pieces of Thomas Heatherwick’s massive, climbable ‘Vessel’ arrive at Hudson Yards site

Posted On Fri, January 13, 2017 By

Posted On Fri, January 13, 2017 By In Art, hudson yards, Major Developments, Midtown West, Urban Design

Back in September, Related Companies chairman Stephen Ross finally unveiled the large-scale artwork that would anchor the central public space within Hudson Yards. As Ross revealed, Thomas Heatherwick was chosen to design the piece, and it would cost an incredible $150 million to build. Dubbed “The Vessel,” the climbable sculpture would rise 16-stories—150 feet tall, 50 feet wide at its base and 150 feet wide at the top—and consist of a web of 154 concrete and steel staircases with 2,500 steps, 80 landings and an elevator; the piece, in fact, so massive that it could comfortably accommodate 1,000 visitors at a time. The sculpture was to be constructed in Monfalcone, Italy before being shipped to its home on the Hudson River. And now CityRealty reports that parts of what Ross once called “New York’s Eiffel Tower” have officially arrived at the site and await assembly.


thomas heatherwick, stephen ross, related companies, the vessel, vessel, hudson yards, public art
Drawings from approved zoning diagram; DOB

Construction permits were approved last month, and not one but two cranes are being constructed at the site to maneuver pieces of the 600-ton sculpture into place. In total, the sculpture will offer over a mile of pathways made of gleaming copper-colored steel. The “365-day Christmas tree,” as Ross describes it, will be completed in August of 2018.

thomas heatherwick, stephen ross, related companies, the vessel, vessel, hudson yards, public art

thomas heatherwick, stephen ross, related companies, the vessel, vessel, hudson yards, public art
Components lined up alongside the High Line at Hudson Yards’ western railyard; CityRealty

thomas heatherwick, stephen ross, related companies, the vessel, vessel, hudson yards, public art
Cranes are being erected at the site of the new public landmark (center-right), CityRealty

Heatherwick, who beat out other high-profile artists such as Jeff Koons, Anish Kapoor, Maya Lin and Richard Serra for the commission, drew his inspiration for the piece from the design of Indian stepwells and from a discarded staircase he once found in his art student days.

Opinionated New Yorkers have likened the nascent landmark to an M.C. Escher piece, a beehive and–a recurring theme, apparently–a wastebasket. Ross has also enlisted Heatherwick to design two more residential buildings, one in Hudson Yards and another in Chelsea.

[Via CityRealty]

Sculpture images courtesy of Forbes Massie/Heatherwick Studio.

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Neighborhoods : Midtown West

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