Thomas Heatherwick’s 150-foot, climbable Vessel tops out in Hudson Yards

Posted On Wed, December 6, 2017 By

Posted On Wed, December 6, 2017 By In Art, hudson yards, Major Developments, Top Stories

The Vessel, topped out; image courtesy of Related-Oxford

The Vessel, a 150-foot-tall climbable sculpture made of bronzed steel and concrete, topped out Wednesday, serving as the public centerpiece of Hudson Yards Public Square and Gardens. Designed by Heatherwick Studio, the $150 million interactive landmark includes 154 interconnecting flights of stairs, nearly 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings. The idea for the project stems from Related Companies’ chairman, Stephen Ross, who called it “New York’s Eiffel Tower.” The final piece of the 600-ton structure will be installed today, nearly eight months after construction began.


Photo © 6sqft

the vessel, thomas heatherwick, hudson yards
Photo © 6sqft

The first pieces of bronzed steel and concrete arrived at the site in January after being fabricated and constructed in Italy. They traveled by ship from the Port of Newark across the Hudson River. After more pieces of the structure arrived, the massive sculpture began to rise in August.


Image courtesy of Related-Oxford


Image courtesy of Related-Oxford


The Vessel, image courtesy of Related-Oxford
Image courtesy of Related-Oxford

Called the “365-day Christmas tree” by Ross, the Vessel will be able to hold 1,000 visitors at a time. It rises from a 50-feet in diameter base that widens at the top to 150 feet.

thomas heatherwick, stephen ross, related companies, the vessel, vessel, hudson yards, public art
Rendering of the Vessel, courtesy of Heatherwick Studio

The landmark sits in the center of a 5-acre plaza that will contain more than 28,000 species of plants and a 200-foot long fountain. As many of the supertall towers are still undergoing construction around it, the Vessel will not open to the public until early 2019. Over the coming months, the final details will be installed on to the structure, including its paving, balustrades, lighting and cladding.

In a statement, Thomas Heatherwick said, “Vessel is one of the most complex pieces of steelwork ever made. Today we are marking the exciting moment when the last of the enormous 75 pre-fabricated pieces which traveled all the way from Italy to Manhattan, has been assembled ahead of schedule and with astonishing geometric accuracy.”

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