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Hudson Yards public centerpiece, Vessel, tops out

Vessel, the centerpiece of the Hudson Yards Public Square and Gardens, topped out last week after eight months of construction.

The last structural piece was installed and Vessel has now reached its full 150 foot height.

The new urban landmark designed by Heatherwick Studio is comprised of 154 interconnecting flights of stairs, 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings.

Rising from a base that is 50 feet in diameter, Vessel will offer the public a one-mile vertical climbing experience and some of the most unique views of the West Side when Hudson Yards opens in early 2019. Stephen M. Ross, chairman of Related Companies, said, “Great public spaces bring people together and define neighborhoods. The Hudson Yards Public Square and Gardens and its centerpiece Vessel, a new kind of vertical public space, will become the new gathering place for Manhattan’s West Side and a destination for New Yorkers and visitors alike.

“I look forward to early 2019 when we all can enjoy Manhattan’s newest public space and experience, interact with and climb Vessel.”

Thomas Heatherwick, founder of Heatherwick Studio, said, “Vessel is one of the most complex pieces of steelwork ever made. Today we are marking the exciting moment when the last of the enormous 75 pre-fabricated pieces which travelled all the way from Italy to Manhattan, has been assembled ahead of schedule and with astonishing geometric accuracy. Over the next few months we’ll focus on installing the final details of the structure, as its paving, balustrades, lighting and cladding come together to complete this different kind of public space.”

Blake Hutcheson, president and CEO of Oxford Properties Group, said, “Vessel is a landmark-within-a-landmark. Already the West Side’s most magnificent destination, the topping out of Vessel adds an undeniable exclamation point to Hudson Yards’ success. We’re delighted that people from all over the world will have another great reason to visit Hudson Yards and experience the terrific intersection between design and architecture.”

Vessel was fabricated by Cimolai S.p.A. in their Monfalcone, Italy facility and arrived on Manhattan’s West Side in six separate shipments after travelling for 15 days at sea, a brief stay at Port Newark and a five-hour barge trip across the Hudson River.

Vessel is constructed of a structural steel frame covered by a polished copper-colored cladding. Over the next year, mechanical and finishing components will be installed as well as the landscaping elements.

The Public Square and Gardens at Hudson Yards, designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects in collaboration with Heatherwick Studio, will feature more than five acres of public plazas, gardens and groves that connect to the High Line and the new Hudson Park & Boulevard.

When complete, the continuous chain of open spaces on the West Side will run from Gansevoort Street to Times Square, making it the largest network of public spaces developed in Manhattan since Central Park.

During the coming months, additional elements of the Public Square and Gardens will also continue to take shape, including the continued planting of the Bosque in the southern section of the public space in the spring.

When complete, the Public Square and Gardens at Hudson Yards will eventually house more than 28,000 plants, 200 mature trees, woodland plants and perennial gardens. Vessel and the Public Square and Gardens are expected to open in early 2019.

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