The Vessel: A Stairway to Nowhere!

Inspired by the concept of Ancient Step wells in India, New York added another iconic structure to its skyline this year. The Vessel was opened for the public on March 2019. It has been in the news ever since, sometimes for good reasons, and sometimes for bad. Designed by British Architect, Thomas Heatherwick, The Vessel is crafted by intertwining a series of 154 stairways, 2500 steps that lead to nowhere. The structure measures 50 feet at its base, widening up to 150 feet at its top. The whole structure incorporated just one elevator, which is also restricted to the use of disabled people. The structure has rapidly moved up to one of the top attractions throughout New York City.

On the way to the top of the huge structure, you may take rest on any of its 80 landings. The whole structure provides mesmerizing views of New York City from all the different angles. On reaching the top, you can enjoy the mesmerizing view of the Hudson River, sitting in the lap of Manhattan. The entry to the structure is free; however, you need to have a booking to enter. The people holding the capacity of the structure has been limited to only 700 at any given point of time.

What is more interesting to know is that this one of a kind structure is an integral part of one of the USA’s biggest private real estate development, the Hudson Yards. The Hudson Yard comprises an amalgamation of high-end residences, office space, fine dine restaurants, retail outlets, a cultural centre, The Shed, and a public school.

This honeycomb-like structure worth $150 million was manufactured purely in Italy. The pieces of the structure were thereafter transported to Manhattan via the Hudson River. During its manufacturing, the structure was kept to secretive that a 20 feet high fencing was put up along the property within which its skeleton was being fabricated. The whole structure looks like a copper-clad magnificent structure of steel, with glass inlays for viewing the whole city.

The Vessel has also been in news due to a lot of criticism by well-known critics as well as the public. As described by the designers, the Vessel is supposed to be a public amenity, just like a park, only vertical. However, the interesting fact is that the whole structure does not comprise a single space where one may have a seat. Moreover, your movements in the structure would be highly monitored, and you might not even be allowed to enter if you do not have a ticket. And a limit to the number of people getting inside the structure also raises a question against it being a public amenity.

As per a lot of critics, the vessel has only been developed to boost the popularity as well as the value of the high-end Hudson Yards. Moreover, the Vessel also features a mall just in front of it, to lure the visitors coming out of the structure after a tiring visit. “The Vessel” has been termed as a temporary name for the structure. Suggesting the name for the structure has been kept open to the public. Some of the interesting names that have been coined up by New York’s residents till now include The Rat’s Nest, The Escalator to Nowhere, Meat Tornado, and Staircase McStaircaseface. Funny! Right?

Whatsoever might be the sayings, visiting The Vessel at least for once is a must. Moreover, who would be interested in encountering a beautiful view of Manhattan, New York City, and the Hudson River from the height of a 15 story height. The structure has already become one of the most photographed places in the city and is being loved by travellers as well as visitors. Public space or not, the structure proudly sits as a perfect piece of art in the Heart of New York City!