While topping-out ceremonies are usually reserved for buildings, today, Related Companies is installing the final piece for The Vessel, designed by Thomas Heatherwick, which will become the defining public art statement atop the redevelopment of the Hudson Railyards. The sculpture is already practically complete, and stands 150 feet to its parapet.
YIMBY first reported on the project in the summer of 2015, when construction had already started, but the design had yet to be released. Renderings were unveiled about a year later, last September, and by early October of this year, only three floors of the sculpture remained unfinished. Now, the structure is just about complete, and as the above photo shows, the bigger picture is starting to resemble the initial renderings, featuring the stunning statement in bronze surrounded by iconic new skyscrapers.
The structure includes 154 staircases, which will yield 2,500 steps. Luckily, for those unable to make the full trek, there will also be an elevator offering access to the top.
At 150 feet to its rooftop, The Vessel would have been among the more prominent structures in the neighborhood only a few years ago. But today, the vicinity is rapidly turning over to skyscrapers and supertall office towers, with Related already opening 10 Hudson Yards for business. 15, 35, and 30 Hudson Yards are also all under construction in the vicinity, and the assortment of sky-high architecture is still growing, as projects like The Moinian Group’s 3 Hudson Boulevard are also now breaking ground.
The Vessel is composed of bronzed steel and concrete, and while it is currently a bit difficult to access given its location at the center of what is likely the largest active construction site in North America, it will eventually serve as the public focal point for the new neighborhood.
Besides the interactivity it will offer for pedestrians, Related is also building a variety of retail spaces in the surrounding plazas, which will further activate the public areas of the Eastern railyards, alongside the Culture Shed at the base of Fifteen Hudson Yards. Full completion of the Eastern Yards and its surrounds is likely by 2019, and for the Western Yards, 2025.