Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel Tops Out in Hudson Yards

A view of the public square and the Vessel looking south. rendering by Forbes MassieA view of the public square and the Vessel looking south. rendering by Forbes Massie-Heatherwick Studio

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.

Vessel, photo by Iamthestig

Vessel, photo by Iamthestig

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.

Vessel, photo by rbrome

Vessel, photo by rbrome

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.

Vessel, photo by rbrome

Vessel, photo by rbrome, showing impending location of final piece

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.

Vessel, photo by rbrome

Vessel, photo by rbrome

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.

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7 Comments on "Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel Tops Out in Hudson Yards"

  1. Welcome Home (David) | December 6, 2017 at 8:14 am | Reply

    Please pardon me for using your space: Determination to succeed and The Vessel got it.

  2. David, I think it could have claimed the space for good YIMBY

  3. Please don’t demean the history and misuse the meaning of the word “sculpture”
    by trying to apply it to this collection of bronzed staircases, struts and elevators.
    It may be pleasing to the eye in some ways, but it certainly isn’t sculpture.
    As for it’s”interactiveness” – well, just call it a concrete & metal Lego playpen for adults.
    – not sculture.

  4. will this structure be ADA compliant??

  5. Think of the Vessel as an homage to the playful and mind bending staircases in MC Escher’s work.
    I’m looking forward to traversing its’ up and down slopes; and getting in shape each time.

  6. Who is the clown who compared this thing to the Eiffel Tower? Get a life. Also a ticket on Air France. Sounds like Donald Trump vying for the larger red button with Rocket Man. Yes it’s nice looking. Not about to replace the Statue of Liberty. Or, for that matter that
    antique Arch in the Midwest.

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