Thomas Heatherwick‘s new copper-colored structure at New York City’s Hudson Yards exists somewhere between a building and a pavilion, yet is classified by neither title. The open-air structure, which is temporarily nicknamed as “Vessel,” is a maze of 154 crossing stairwells and 80 landings that combine to form a honeycomb-like shape. Although the towering design appears like a sculptural work, the architects behind the project view it more as a piece of furniture than piece of architecture. “People often ask us, what is this for? Is it a viewing platform? Where are you looking to?” Heatherwick Studio group leader and partner Stuart Wood explains. “It’s not a building, it’s not a sculpture, it’s not an artwork, and yet it has scale and relevance to all of those typologies… In a way, we’re thinking of this as a piece of furniture. Its ongoing use will evolve, quite naturally.”
The structure is narrow at the bottom to avoid a large footprint, and expands to a width of 150 feet wide at the top. It opened yesterday alongside a plaza and gardens and phase one of the surrounding complex’s retail and entertainment. You can reserve free timed tickets to climb the structure on Hudson Yard’s website. And don’t forget to check TOP 20 tallest buildings in the world.