Once again, New York City is taking public art literally one step further in the design of the public art piece “The Vessel” by artist Thomas Heatherwick.

This is the first public art installation at Hudson Yards, the old working dock and shipbuilding site on the west side of Manhattan. By square foot, Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in the United States, with 16 planned buildings. Total cost of this megaproject is $25 billion.

The Vessel is fifteen stories high and as Amy Pitt observes in in, “The piece is made from 154 interconnected staircases, and is intended to be used by the public—for climbing, running (though probably not too fast), and, most likely, for providing the backdrop for selfies and Instagram photos.”

While The Vessel is built to be climbed on, the developer has indicated that a ticket must be obtained to climb on it. Here’s the site to book your ticket which is free and gives you access to 2,500 stairs and 80 landings. You can spend as much time as you want on the piece~the ticket gives you the hour you can enter the space. For people who are mobility challenged there is an elevator that goes up to the top deck.

Built at a cost of $200 million by the developer of the docklands site, the Related Companies, the Vessel can provide a vertical climbing experience and will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. There will be “Vessel Ambassadors’ at the art installation  to serve as on site assistants.

You can take a preview of this art piece in the YouTube video below.



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  1. Love the design. Iconic.
    This structure invites comparison to the London Eye – which costs a pile to ride – a couple of hundred bucks for a family of four. No thank you.
    It also invites comparison with the “Ladder to Nowhere” in Vancouver in front of Kensington Gardens on Kingsway. Not.

  2. I saw this structure recently, it’s quite close to the Highline park which wraps around this development as you walk north from 30th street, or south from 34th. The rail yards are quite a large space and the entire surrounding neighborhood is undergoing redevelopment at a furious pace, 34th street is a giant construction zone.

    This will be another iconic part of Manhattan, the structure stands out amongst the skyscrapers as you look at the profile of the city from New Jersey. I look forward to visiting the next time I’m in New York.

  3. Looks very cool, and the ticket requirement must be due to a load-bearing constraint.
    … but $200 million to build?

    If you built that here, it would probably breach view cone.

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