Construction has officially begun on Vessel, the 15-story tall staircase sculpture designed by Heatherwick Studio that will serve as the centerpiece of New York’s massive new Hudson Yards development. To build the structure, 75 individual units are being prefabricated by Cimolai S.p.A. in their Monfalcone, Italy facility, then shipped to New York where they will be assembled on site. These first 10 of these pieces have now completed their 15-day overseas journey, with the remaining pieces scheduled to arrive on-site and put into place over the coming year.
“This is a special moment as Vessel begins being assembled at Hudson Yards,” commented Thomas Heatherwick, Founder of Heatherwick Studio. “As one of the most complex and ambitious pieces of steelwork ever made, the next months will provide a one-off opportunity to see a future extraordinary structure emerge for New York. There are so many buildings and projects I wish I saw being made. So, for those who are interested, I hope it will turn out to have been worth heading up onto the High Line to catch a glimpse of the complex geometry being pieced together like an incredible jigsaw puzzle.”
Vessel will consist of 154 interconnecting flights of stairs, 2,500 individual steps, and 80 landings, totaling one-mile of vertically climbing pathways. The structure will widen considerably as it rises, from a 50-foot-diameter base to 150 feet at its peak, to offer expansive views of the Hudson Yards development and Manhattan’s West Side.
“We are thrilled to commence construction on Vessel, the centerpiece and heart of the Public Square and Gardens at Hudson Yards. An extraordinary amount of work by artisans and craftsman has gone into reaching this day and we are excited to invite New Yorkers and visitors alike to watch its rise over the upcoming months,” said Stephen M. Ross, Chairman of Related Companies. “The interactive, engaging, innovative and beautiful structure embodies our city’s energy, activity and movement, and we look forward to the day when all can experience and experiment with it.”
Vessel is anticipated to top out by the end of the year, well ahead of its scheduled opening along with the whole Public Square and Gardens in Fall 2018. The garden’s first 40 trees will be planted later this year. Upon completion, the public square will house more than 8,000 plants and 200 mature trees, including a wide variety of woodland plants and perennial gardens, as well as a 200-foot-long fountain that will mirror the flow of a river.
See the first piece’s full journey in the gallery below, and check out the latest timelapse video of Hudson Yards’ construction here:
News via Related Companies.