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18 Mar 2019

Heatherwick Studio's latticework Vessel finally opens to the public
BY Andrew Manns

The 46-metre, climbable sculpture has been likened to a modern-day Eiffel Tower.

The 46-metre, climbable sculpture has been likened to a modern-day Eiffel Tower.
photo: Courtesy of Michael Moran

The tentatively named "Vessel" sculpture – arguably the most recognisable landmark in the entire Hudson Yards Development – has opened its doors in Manhattan, New York.

Conceived by London-based architecture practice Heatherwick Studio, Vessel, which was inspired by the "ancient stepwells of India" stands 46 metres tall and features almost 2,500 steps and 80 landings.

These are supported by a latticework of copper-coloured steel beams, all of which were fabricated by Cimolai S.p.A. in their Monfalcone, Italy factory.

Other firms who contributed to the project include AKT II, who provided structural engineering oversight; and Thornton Tomasetti, the site's engineer of record.

"To develop the skeletal structure," explained Thornton Tomasetti in a statement, "we adapted techniques from shipbuilding and bridge construction. The thin-walled steel structure was designed with special attention paid to aesthetics, structural integrity, constructability, and economy."

In a description of the project, AKT II said it was created to be a "modern-day Statue of Liberty or Eiffel Tower" that would serve "not just as an art installation, but as a destination and venue for world-class events".

The new attraction, which rises above the five-acre Hudson Yards Public Square and Gardens, is open every day between 10 am and 9 pm.




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