Just when you thought New York City couldn’t possibly make room for another superstructure, talk about a beehive-like public installation in Hudson Yards reveals that the city’s iconic skyline will soon welcome another addition. The plan for the 16-story, £114 million sculpture, dubbed “New York’s Eiffel Tower,” was revealed by British architect, Thomas Heatherwick, on Wednesday.
“Vessel,” as the structure is called, will become the permanent centerpiece of the Hudson Yards’ Public Square and Gardens, which will eventually connect Hudson Yards to the High Line. The project is part of a larger Hudson Yards development initiative, consisting of 16 skyscrapers on the West Side. With a price tag of $25 billion, it is the largest and most costly real estate project in the United States to date, according to CNN.
In describing his design for “New York’s Eiffel Tower,” Heatherwick, the designer of London 2012 Olympic torch, states that the structure will function as a huge climbing frame. Among other things, it has been compared to a set of ribs, a bedbug’s exoskeleton, and a towering jungle gym. Looking through the architectural renderings provided by Heatherwick Studios, Vessel, comprised of 154 interconnected flights of stairs, 80 landings, and 2,400 steeps, seems to be science-fictional mix of all those things.
“In a city full of eye-catching structures, our first thought was that it shouldn’t just be something to look at,” said Heatherwick.
“Instead we wanted to make something that everybody could use, touch, relate to.”
At the project’s completion, anticipated for fall of 2018, “New York’s Eiffel Tower” will measure 150 feet (46 meters) tall, offering visitors new ways to look at New York City. Steel and concrete pieces are currently under construction in Monfalcone, Italy, but will not be assembled until next year. Vessel is reported to cost $200 million, which will be paid for by Hudson Yards developers, the Related Company.