The Largest Development in US History Opens with $280m Art Installation

After seven years of construction, one of the most expensive private real-estate developments in the US and New York’s largest development to date, the Hudson Yards, officially opened on Friday.

The mega-development, which involves building neighbourhoods over old rail-yards, is costing an estimated US$25 billion.

Located on Manhattan’s far West Side, developers Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group plan for the 28-acre project to be entirely completed by 2024.

New Yorkers and visitors are able to visit for the first time the Public Square, gardens, a new five-acre public space along with its climbable art installation known as “Vessel”.

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Temporarily known as 'Vessel': The public will be asked to name the structure based on their experience.
Temporarily known as 'Vessel': The public will be asked to name the structure based on their experience.

The centrepiece of the 28-acre project is a US$200 million climbable public art piece, “Vessel”.

The 46-metre-tall bronzed steel-and-concrete structure, designed by Thomas Heatherwick, is made up of 154 intricately interconnected flights of stairs, that lead to nowhere, offering visitors a vertical climb.

The developer describes the design piece as a “focal point where people can enjoy new perspectives of the city and one another from different heights, angles and vantage points”.

The 87 carbon steel pieces that comprise Vessel were pre-fabricated in Italy before shipped to the U.S.

The installation is open every day, free of charge, from 10am-to-9pm for visitors to scale its 2500 steps.

Related: These Are The World's Best Unbuilt Projects

Vessel’s architect was given the singular direction of “creating a galvanizing moment.”
Vessel’s architect was given the singular direction of “creating a galvanising moment.”

Hudson Yards is a mix of residential and office buildings, major retail - described as 'vertical malls', restaurants, and public spaces that combine to form the neighbourhood.

Additional benefits include more than 3000 new affordable housing units which make up 28 per cent of all new housing in the district.

Related: SOM Unveils New 550m Skyscraper

The collection of architects and designers that collaborated on Hudson Yards includes Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Elkus Manfredi Architects; Foster + Partners; Heatherwick Studio; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects; Rockwell Group; and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

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