The Heatherwick Studio brought a new public monument to New York City. The Vessel is located in the central plaza of Hudson Yards, where it is surrounded by native perennial gardens and a canopy of native trees, an ongoing master plan of residential and office towers, the shops & restaurants.
The studio wanted to create a structure that visitors could use, touch and relate to. Heatherwick’s inspiration for Vessel comes from the design of Indian stepwells; wells or ponds in which the water is reached by descending a set of steps to the water level.
Composed of 154 flights and almost 2500 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. Although the climb offers unique perspectives outward to the new neighborhood, the real experience lies in the views inward overlooking the complex, interconnecting geometries.
Polished copper-colored undersides contrast with the raw painted steel surfaces of the complex architectural framework, enlivening the structure with reflections of the surrounding city.
The Vessel public space has reached its full height of 150 feet and opened in early 2019.