Heatherwick's 2,500-step sculpture begins to rise in New York

Louise Dransfield

Structure is centrepiece of Hudson Yards scheme

Heatherwick Studio’s centrepiece for the new neighborhood development Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s west side in New York has started to rise out of the ground.

Vessel, which is made up of 154 interconnecting flights of stairs totaling 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings, will sit in the new public square and gardens at the scheme expanding out and up from a 50ft diameter base to a diameter 150 ft at the top.

The structure is being made by Italian firm Cimolai – the steelwork contractor on Heatherwick’s under-threat Garden Bridge in London – and will provide the public with a one-mile vertical climb.

Heatherwick Studio founder Thomas Heatherwick said: “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.

“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.”

It is expected to open at the same time as a public square and garden designed by New York firm Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects in collaboration with Heatherwick Studio in autumn 2018.

The new public realm is part of the largest development in New York since the Rockefeller Center was built and is the biggest private real estate development in US history.

Hudson Yards is being developed by Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group and will see 18 million sq ft of commercial and residential space with 4,000 new homes and more than 100 shops including New York’s first Neiman Marcus department store built. It will also include a luxury hotel, restaurants and school.


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