The long awaited ‘Vessel’ at New York City’s Hudson Yards has finally opened to the public. Having been first unveiled back in 2016, the Thomas Heatherwick-designed giant honeycomb-like sculpture has opened alongside other public spaces at the vast West Side development in Manhattan.

Heatherwick's Vessel Is Finally Open to the New York Public

Temporarily known as Vessel, the Heatherwick Studio-designed structure opened its doors this weekend to visitors who scaled the 154 staircases. The copper-coloured structure is narrow at its base but expands to reach 150 feet high and 150 feet wide at the top, offering views over New York and the Hudson River.

During the opening, Heatherwick Studio group leader Stuart Wood admitted; “People often ask us, what is this for? Is it a viewing platform? Where are you looking to?” stating, “It’s not a building, it’s not a sculpture, it’s not an artwork… In a way, we’re thinking of this as a piece of furniture.”

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Whatever its form, the Vessel is purely built for recreation and features a lattice of interconnected flights of almost 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings, with tourists able to explore as much of it as possible within their allocated timeslot. As well as the stairs, there’s also a sloping elevator which can ferry visitors directly to the top level.

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With such a unique design, Heatherwick’s structure is almost certainly going to become one of New York’s most Instagrammable locations. But controversy was caused this week when it was discovered that Hudson Yards was planning to maintain rights to any photography taken of the public structure – as stated in the T&Cs on their website. They’ve since removed the passage but it will be interesting to see the fallout.

The Hudson Yards ‘Vessel’ is set to be renamed through a competition later this year. Open between 10am – 9pm, you can get your free tickets to visit the structure over at the Hudson Yards Website.

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In other design news, British artist Damien Hirst has designed a hotel suite for the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas featuring sharks suspended in formaldehyde, oversized pills graphics, and flooring patterned with butterflies.

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