The Vessel has become one of the latest artistic and tourist proposals on the island of Manhattan in New York. It is a huge sculpture in the form of a walkable staircase that is located in the trendy New York neighborhood of Hudson Yards.
The British creator Thomas Heatherwick, a prestigious designer, is the one who has conceived this unique work, which causes a first impression of surprise in everyone who sees it. Is it a sculpture, a building, a ladder, a spaceship, a gigantic beehive? Or, a huge vessel as its name indicates when translated from English? That is why the work since its inception has had endless popular nicknames. From some as obvious as New York Stairs to more creative ones like the corset, the rib cage or the shawarma.
Exterior of The Vessel
That's from the outside, because from the inside you definitely discover a staircase. Actually, 154 stairs connected to each other to generate an ascending and descending zigzag route. And between each section of steps there are various flat platforms or landings, peculiar viewpoints that allow us to observe how this avant-garde neighborhood that is Hudson Yards is growing, as well as offering us unique points of view of some of the architectural icons of New York, like the Empire State Building itself.
The truth is that there is noa unique journey through the interior of the work. Everyone chooses their path and furthermore you don't even have to walk it completely. Something that by the way requires a lot of effort, since in total there are 2,500 steps, although to reach the highest part it is enough to travel more or less 10%, depending on the path we choose. The fact is that going up to its highest part, we would be at a height equivalent to 16 floors. And yet The Vessel surrounded by skyscrapers looks like a small construction.
The fact is that each visitor has a different experience of this “inhabitable” sculpture or sculptural architecture, since both artistic disciplines can merge in it.
Interior of The Vessel
In addition, the visitors themselves end up being part of the work. And it is that those platforms or landings between the flights of stairs invite you to contemplate the exterior, but also the interior. And this is how we appreciate that the rest of the visitors are integrated into the work, going up and down the zigzag of stairs can seem like ants inside an anthill.