Heatherwick’s Vessel Tops Out As 150-Foot Hudson Yards Centrepiece


After eight months of construction work, “Vessel”, the honeycomb-like centerpiece for New York’s $25 billion Hudson Yards development has topped-out.

Situated in Hudson Yard’s public square and gardens, Vessel has topped out to 150 feet and is comprised of 154 intricately-interconnecting flights of stairs, 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings.

Heatherwick Studio, responsible for Vessel’s design, said they drew inspiration from the ancient stepwells of India.

The final 15-storey structure will be completed in 2019 and is expected to cost more than $200 million.

[Related reading: Disused Grain Silo Transformed into Africa's First Contemporary Art Institution]

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“Great public spaces bring people together and define neighbourhoods,” Related Companies chairman Stephen Ross said.

“[Vessel] will become the new gathering place for Manhattan’s West Side and a destination for New Yorkers and visitors alike.

“I look forward to early 2019 when we all can enjoy Manhattan’s newest public space and experience, interact with, and climb Vessel,” he said.

Rising from a base that is 50 feet in diameter, Vessel will offer the public a one-mile vertical climbing experience and some of the most unique views of the West Side when Hudson Yards opens in early 2019.

[Related reading: $150m Vessel Approved for Central Manhattan]

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Vessel was fabricated by Cimolai S.p.A. in their Monfalcone, Italy facility and arrived on Manhattan’s West Side in six separate shipments after travelling for 15 days at sea, a brief stay at the Port Newark and a five-hour barge trip across the Hudson River. 

Vessel is constructed of a structural steel frame covered by a polished copper-coloured cladding.

Over the next year, mechanical and finishing components will be installed as well as the landscaping elements.

Heatherwick Studio founder Thomas Heatherwick said Vessel was one of the most complex pieces of steelwork ever made.

“We are marking the exciting moment when the last of the enormous 75 pre-fabricated pieces [...] has been assembled ahead of schedule and with astonishing geometric accuracy.

“Over the next few months we’ll focus on installing the final details of the structure, as its paving, balustrades, lighting and cladding come together to complete this different kind of public space.”

When complete, the public square and gardens at Hudson Yards will eventually house more than 28,000 plants, 200 mature trees, woodland plants and perennial gardens.

Developed by Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group, Hudson Yards will be home to more than 100 shops and restaurants, dozens of the world’s corporate business leaders, state-of-art modern residences, a unique cultural space, 14-acres of public open space, a new 750-seat public school and a 200-room Equinox hotel.

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