10 Titles We Respectfully Submit for Consideration in Renaming Hudson Yards’s Hulking ‘Vessel’ Sculpture

We are partial to the 'Shine Cone.'

Designer Thomas Heatherwick speaks onstage at Hudson Yards, New York's Newest Neighborhood, Official Opening Event on March 15, 2019 in New York City. Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Related.
Designer Thomas Heatherwick speaks onstage at Hudson Yards, New York's Newest Neighborhood, Official Opening Event on March 15, 2019 in New York City. Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Related.

Hudson Yards, the largest private development in the US, is now open for business. At its literal center and standing as a symbol for the whole thing is Vessel, a towering column of stairs sitting in the complex’s central plaza.

The $200 million dollar architectural folly comes courtesy British architect Thomas Heatherwick. Many have questioned its tastefulness in advance, including most recently New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, who has referred to it as a “latticed, waste-basket-shaped stairway to nowhere, sheathed in a gaudy, copper-cladded steel.”

But at Friday’s opening ceremonies, Heatherwick reminded the audience that it wouldn’t truly be complete until people got a chance to walk around on the structure and experience its participatory charms as a giant, playful spiral staircase-cum-lookout point. “The whole point is to be lifting up 700 people,” he said. “It’s not finished until you are on it.”

Designer Thomas Heatherwick Hudson Yards, New York's Newest Neighborhood, Official Opening Event on March 15, 2019 in New York City. Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Related.

Designer Thomas Heatherwick Hudson Yards, New York’s Newest Neighborhood, Official Opening Event on March 15, 2019 in New York City. Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Related.

In keeping with the spirit of getting the public engaged with the pricey new property, the owners have also said that Vessel will not be the sculptural work’s final name. That will be decided by a public naming competition, the details of which are, as yet, not announced. In the lead up to the opening of Hudson Yards, and based purely on the pre-launch pictures and public griping, the artnet News team threw together our own suggestions about what Heathwick’s opus might possibly end up being renamed as.

We humbly submit them here.

(A more extensive review of Hudson Yards’s art amenities is on the way for next week.)

1) ‘The Hudson Hollow’

View of the interior of 'Vessel.' Image courtesy Ben Davis.

View of the interior of ‘Vessel.’ Image courtesy Ben Davis.

2) ‘The Shine Cone’

Detail of the exterior of 'Vessel'. Image courtesy Ben Davis.

Detail of the exterior of ‘Vessel’. Image courtesy Ben Davis.

3) ‘The Bungle Gym’

Side view of 'Vessel' from the interior. Image courtesy Ben Davis.

Side view of ‘Vessel’ from the interior. Image courtesy Ben Davis.

4) ‘The BasketCase’

View of the elevator in 'Vessel.' Image courtesy Ben Davis.

View of the elevator in ‘Vessel.’ Image courtesy Ben Davis.

5) ‘The PSYChlone’

Dancers and gospel choir on 'Vessel'f or the opening. Image courtesy Ben Davis.

Dancers and gospel choir on ‘Vessel’ to mark the public opening. Image courtesy Ben Davis.

6) ‘The Garbage Can for Money’

View of the Hudson Yards towers from inside 'Vessel.' Image courtesy Ben Davis.

View of the Hudson Yards towers from inside ‘Vessel.’ Image courtesy Ben Davis.

7) ‘The Despaircase’

Looking into 'Vessel.' Image courtesy Ben Davis.

Looking into ‘Vessel.’ Image courtesy Ben Davis.

8) ‘The Late Imperial Incline/Decline’

Visitors on the top level of 'Vessel' during the opening. Image courtesy Ben Davis.

Visitors on the top level of ‘Vessel’ during the opening. Image courtesy Ben Davis.

9) ‘The Trifle Tower’

Thomas Heatherwick's 'Vessel' at Hudson Yards. Image courtesy Ben Davis.

Thomas Heatherwick’s ‘Vessel’ at Hudson Yards. Image courtesy Ben Davis.

10) ‘The Gilded Cage’

Reflection of crowd in the cladding of 'Vessel.' Image courtesy Ben Davis.

Reflection of crowd in the cladding of ‘Vessel.’ Image courtesy Ben Davis.


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