The Vessel at Hudson Yards

Finalist 2020

Hudson Yards, a 26-acre site, is the single largest piece of recently developed property in Manhattan. The mixed-use development includes office, retail, residential, parks, open space, culture and entertainment.

The extraordinary centerpiece of Hudson Yards is its spiral staircase, The Vessel, a soaring new landmark that is meant to be climbed and explored. Inspired by the ancient step wells of India, this interactive artwork was imagined by Thomas Heatherwick Studio as a focal point where people can enjoy new perspectives of the city and one another from different heights, angles and vantage points. The Vessel’s vertical climb offers remarkable views of the city, the river and beyond.

Large prismatic letterforms cast in steel are prominently visible along stairwells. Seen as an integral part of the structure, the systematic numbering of the platforms allows visitors to understand where they are within the structure and provide important life safety guidance to first responders.

The paths of travel throughout the Vessel – up and down, direct or circuitous– are limitless. The signage program helps orient and guide visitors along 154 intricately interconnecting flights of stairs – with 10 vertical portals leading to almost 2,500 individual steps that take visitors to 80 observation platforms.

Design Firms: 



The Related Companies

Project Area: 

150 sq ft

Open Date: 

March 2019

Project Budget: 


Photo Credits: 

Martin Seck

Related Links: 

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