Hudson Yards, the massive mixed-used project under construction on Manhattan’s far West Side, has topped off its huge Vessel installation, considered the centerpiece of the project’s public space.
Vessel has been eight months in construction and on Wednesday, its last structural piece was installed, bringing it to its full 150-foot height. The installation is designed by Heatherwick Studio and is comprised of 154 interconnecting flights of stairs, 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings. It’s seen as a place of discovery and socializing, rising from its 50-foot-wide diameter to provide a one-mile vertical climbing experience and some great views of Manhattan, the Hudson River and New Jersey.
“Great public spaces bring people together and define neighborhoods,” said Stephen M. Ross, chairman of Related Cos., codeveloper of Hudson Yards along with the Oxford Properties Group. The Vessel and Hudson Yards retail mall with 100 stores and restaurants, including Neiman Marcus, will open in 2019.
Thomas Heatherwick, founder of Heatherwick Studio, described Vessel as “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. 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.”
Vessel will anchor the five-acre public square and Gardens at Hudson Yards, designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects in collaboration with Heatherwick Studio. In the months ahead, trees and plants will be added to the area.