The studio was Invited to design a public centrepiece for Hudson Yards, a new 11-hectare development on Manhattan’s Upper West Side that sits above a huge rail yard.
To create something meaningful, the studio wanted to create a structure that visitors could use, touch and relate to. It developed the idea of a new landmark that could be climbed and explored.
Drawing inspiration from the ancient stepwells of India, the studio sought to evoke the powerful effect of their repeating steps, flights and landings that reach down to the earth.
Composed of 154 flights and almost 2.500 steps, the effect of climbing up and down Vessel’s staircases creates a personal rhythm in each visitor.
Rising to 46 meters tall, it lifts them above the square and reveals views across Hudson Yards and Manhattan from 80 platforms arranged around its perimeter. Polished copper-coloured undersides contrast with the raw painted steel surfaces of the complex architectural framework, enlivening the structure with reflections of the surrounding city.
Forming the heart of this large new district, Vessel represents the intention for Hudson Yards to create meaningful public legacy for New York.
Photo credits: Heatherwick Studio