Vessel by Heatherwick Studio | ITSLIQUID

Vessel by Heatherwick Studio

Architecture | April 10, 2019 |

Vessel by Heatherwick StudioImage courtesy of Heatherwick Studio

Vessel by Heatherwick Studio
Location: Hudson Yards, New York
Status: Completed

Vessel is a new type of public landmark – a 16-storey circular climbing frame, with 2,465 steps, 80 landings and views across the Hudson River and Manhattan. It is the central feature of the main public square in the Hudson Yards development, one of the largest real estate projects in American history, which is transforming a former rail yard in Manhattan’s Upper West Side into a completely new neighbourhood, with more than five acres of new public spaces and gardens. Heatherwick Studio was asked to design a centrepiece for Hudson Yards, something that would welcome visitors into the heart of the district and create a new place to meet in Manhattan. Part of the challenge was to create something memorable that would not be overwhelmed by the surrounding cluster of towers, or the scale of the new public space above the train platform. Exploring different possibilities, the team started to narrow the parameters: it should be a memorable single object, not a series of objects dispersed throughout the space; rather than an inert, static sculpture, it should be a social encounter, which encourages activity and participation – it should be fun.

Vessel by Heatherwick StudioImage courtesy of Heatherwick Studio

Looking at the places in cities where people naturally congregate, the underlying infrastructure is often simple – a staircase, for example, such as the famous Spanish Steps in Rome. Researching this typology further, the studio explored traditional Indian stepwells; these have an intricate network of stone stairs, so that as the water level in the reservoir changes, the surface is still accessible. However, like an amphitheatre, the focus of a well is its centre, and the studio wanted to create an experience that was outward as well as inward-looking.

Vessel by Heatherwick StudioImage courtesy of Heatherwick Studio

By opening up voids between the steps to create a threedimensional lattice, the public square could be stretched upwards, creating more than a mile of routes that could be explored in different ways. To create the continuous geometric pattern of the stepwell, with 154 interconnecting flights of stairs, the object had to be self-supporting – a discreet structural solution was required, which did not need additional columns and beams. This was resolved by inserting a steel spine between each pair of staircases, creating a natural division between u’p’ and ‘down’. The raw welded steel of this structure is exposed to give the object clarity and integrity, and the underside of the staircases is clad in a deep copper-toned metal, setting them apart from the surrounding architecture.

Vessel by Heatherwick StudioImage courtesy of Heatherwick Studio

Every element of the Vessel is bespoke, from the joints to the handrails. The 75 huge steel components were produced in Venice by specialist fabricator Cimolai, before being brought from Italy in six shipments, carried across the Hudson River by barge, and assembled on site in a process that took three years. Yet despite the size of the Vessel, it has been designed at a human scale, to be climbed, explored and enjoyed by New Yorkers and visitors – a simple structure, animated by people and the reflections of the square beneath.

more. www.heatherwick.com
                                                                                         

Vessel by Heatherwick StudioImage courtesy of Heatherwick Studio

Vessel by Heatherwick StudioImage courtesy of Heatherwick Studio

Vessel by Heatherwick StudioImage courtesy of Heatherwick Studio

Vessel by Heatherwick StudioImage courtesy of Heatherwick Studio

Are you an artist, architect, designer? Would you like to be featured on ITSLIQUID platform? Send an e-mail to info@itsliquid.com or fill the form below

RELATED POSTS


TIBALDI

Uncategorized | June 4, 2020

TIBALDI makes easy couture writing accessories that style your day. Pens to be lived differently and felt personally. Adornment frills made highly addictive. Authentically Italian, this brand is heart-beating since 1916. Originated in Florence by Giuseppe Tibaldi - a man with a singular passion for making pens, the company proved an industrial dream come true up until 1965. Read more


NJUSTUDIO

Design | June 1, 2020

Njustudio from Coburg, Bavaria develops unique and human-friendly objects for residential and commercial use, following the claim "New needs - Nju products / Ideas for the New Normal!". Read more


CHAIR TIMES BY VITRA

Design | May 20, 2020

The film Chair Times leads on a path through a ‘sea of chairs’: 125 objects dating from 1807 to the latest 3D printed designs are arranged in the order of their production years, forming a timeline of modern seating design in the Vitra Schaudepot. Which objects would professionals in the design field want to talk about? Read more


The isolate screen divider kit

Design | May 17, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has quickly established behavioural changes with the public as they are much more conscious when they share communal spaces. Future aircraft passengers will place even greater value on their personal space than ever before - Not simply from a comfort perspective, but from a health and safety standpoint. Airlines will need to adapt their cabins in order to tempt customers back and reassure them that their health is protected whilst on board. Reduced passenger loads will free-up opportunities to adapt existing cabins to address this new normal in the short to medium term. Read more


Sign up for our Newsletter.

Enter your email to receive our latest updates!