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The Vessel, Beautiful Stairway to Nowhere

Chiara Basso (March 18, 2019)
I had heard about this structure called The Vessel that was about to be inaugurated in the Hudson Yards - I had also seen a rendering - but its was only when I saw pictures of it emerging on social media that I said: “Wow! I really need to go to see it.” Yes, I fell in the trap too. The Vessel, British design and Italian manufacture, is a shining dream for our selfie-obsessed society: 2500 steps amazingly organized in a dantesque structure with a wonderful view on the Hudson river. It is a $200 million stairway to nowhere in a $25 billion neighborhood.

There are no offices, or shops, not even a restroom in "temporary known as" Vessel. It is the choreographic centerpiece of the Hudson Yards, the newest neighborhood of New York City and, according to the New York Times, “the biggest real estate projects in the country in recent years, and one of the biggest in New York since Rockefeller Center was completed 80 years ago.”

After all, even the Eiffel Tower is just a decorative landmark in Paris, so we shouldn't be too scandalized by the total uselessness of this structure that will easily become a new landmark in New York City.

The Vessel was created by the British designer Thomas Heatherwick, but we are very proud to write that its 75 pre-fabricated pieces were manufactured by an Italian company, Cimolai S.p.A. of Monfalcone. This company is involved in other projects of the Hudson Yards and is known worldwide for its ability in creating complex steel structures. As a matter of fact, Cimolai, founded in Italy in 1949, also fabricated the Oculus, the ribbed structure over the World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. 

The Vessel's bronzed-steel and concrete pieces arrived in New York in six separate shipments after traveling for 15 days at sea and were assembled on site.

A detail that reminds us of another New York landmark, the Statue of Liberty, which in 1885 arrived in 350 individual pieces from France and reassembled on what is now known as Liberty Island in the New York Harbor. 

Just remember, before you go, that there is only an elevator in the Vessel, but it is strictly for disabled people and has only one stop, almost at the top. But the experience is exactly in the joy (and effort) of climbing all its steps!

Here a time-lapse video of the  Hudson Yards' construction  (>>)

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