Our art critic compared it to a rack of ribs. Its developer has called it New York’s "Eiffel Tower." By most measures, it’s the centerpiece of the city’s biggest new development.
We’re talking about Vessel, a 15-story, $200 million sculpture at Hudson Yards that topped out this week. The structure contains 154 interconnecting flights of stairs, 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings, and it will eventually be surrounded by a public square and garden space—but it won’t be completed until early 2019. The project is the creation of designer Thomas Heatherwick, who’s been tapped to design the confusing waterfront art installation near the Whitney.
The news of Vessel’s topping out is a major milestone for Hudson Yards as it continues to transform an entire swath of the West Side. Less than a year from now, the development will house more than 4,000 private residences, more than 100 shops, a moveable cultural center and a giant Eataly–esque food hall from a James Beard Award–winning chef. The new sculpture hopes to be one of the primary drivers of visitors to the area who, for whatever reason, are interested in climbing 150 flights of stairs.