See a Sneak Peek at Hudson Yards’ Gorgeous, 600-Ton Sculptural Tower

The far West Side will be home to the city's next big landmark.

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Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel
A rendering of Thomas Heatherwick's Vessel, coming to Hudson Yards in New York. Courtesy of Forbes Massie-Heatherwick Studio.
A rendering of Thomas Heatherwick's Vessel, coming to Hudson Yards in New York. Courtesy of Forbes Massie-Heatherwick Studio.
Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel
A rendering of Thomas Heatherwick's Vessel, coming to Hudson Yards in New York. Courtesy of Forbes Massie-Heatherwick Studio.
A rendering of Thomas Heatherwick's Vessel, coming to Hudson Yards in New York. Courtesy of Forbes Massie-Heatherwick Studio.
Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel
A rendering of Thomas Heatherwick's Vessel, coming to Hudson Yards in New York. Courtesy of Forbes Massie-Heatherwick Studio.
A rendering of Thomas Heatherwick's Vessel and the surrounding gardens and water feature, coming to Hudson Yards in New York. Courtesy of Visual House-Nelson Byrd Wolt.
Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel
A rendering of Thomas Heatherwick's Vessel and the surrounding gardens and water feature, coming to Hudson Yards in New York. Courtesy of Visual House-Nelson Byrd Wolt.
A rendering of Thomas Heatherwick's Vessel, coming to Hudson Yards in New York. Courtesy of Forbes Massie-Heatherwick Studio.
Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel
A rendering of Thomas Heatherwick's Vessel, coming to Hudson Yards in New York. Courtesy of Forbes Massie-Heatherwick Studio.
The plan for Hudson Yards' public square and gardens.
Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel
The plan for Hudson Yards' public square and gardens.

The push to make the far West Side’s Hudson Yards a major destination is officially underway: At a press conference held on September 14, long-awaited designs for the project and its sculptural centerpiece, by UK artist Thomas Heatherwick, were finally unveiled.

Heatherwick’s 15-story, 600-ton Vessel will be an open air structure, a towering network of interlocking staircases rising like a futuristic M.C. Escher above a public square and garden designed by Thomas Woltz, of the firm Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects. The surrounding gardens will feature vegetation that “evoke[s] the native flora of New York,” said Woltz.

But the star of the show will undoubtedly be Vessel, which grows from just 50 feet in diameter at its base to an imposing 150 feet around the top, offering visitors a unique view of the city from no less than 80 viewing platforms. Anderson Cooper, who hosted the unveiling, described it as “truly an unprecedented urban landmark” in his opening remarks.

Prior to the design’s unveiling, Stephen M. Ross, chairman and founder of Related Companies, which is developing the site with the Oxford Properties Group, told Crain’s that the statue “will become to New York what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris.”

“Our vision for Hudson Yards is really creating the ultimate live/work/play environment,” he told the assembled crowds on Wednesday.

The Alvin Ailey dancer perform at the press conference unveiling the design for Hudson Yards and Thomas Heatherwick's <em>Vessel</em>. Courtesy of Paul Prince.

The Alvin Ailey dancer perform at the press conference unveiling the design for Hudson Yards and Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel. Courtesy of Paul Prince.

Vessel will be installed on the site next year, and is currently being manufactured from bronzed-steel and concrete in Monfalcone, Italy. It is already getting some mixed reviews, with Gothamist dubbing the piece a “giant bedbug” that looks like “a portal to Hell.

Also on hand for the spectacle was Mayor Bill De Blasio. “This is a very good day for New York,” he said, noting that project “epitomizes what has always made New York city great: The fact that this place is constantly in evolution.”


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