New York City Is Getting a 150-Foot-Tall Climbable Staircase Sculpture


Manhattan is getting its very own staircase to nowhere. Innovative British designer Thomas Heatherwick, known for his design for the 2012 London Olympic torch as well as for the city’s controversial plant-laden Garden Bridge, recently announced plans to build a monstrous staircase installation. The piece will be located at Hudson Yards, an extensive redevelopment project currently being built over a working rail yard within spitting distance of the Hudson River. The 16-story staircase sculpture, called Vessel, will cost around $150 million, The Telegraph reports.

The massive climbable sculpture will be the centerpiece of the Hudson Yards development. There will be 154 interconnected staircases with 2400 steps in total, allowing the public to climb a mile’s worth of stairs in one place. Shaped like a giant latticed vase, it will be 150 feet tall and get wider as you climb, stretching 150 feet across at its highest point.

The painted steel and concrete pieces that make up the staircase maze are currently being fabricated in Italy, and will be shipped to New York and put together sometime next year. It’s scheduled to open to the public in 2018.

In its design, Heatherwick Studio says it hopes to create “a landmark every inch of which could be climbed and explored. Vessel will lift the public up, offering new ways to look at New York, Hudson Yards and each other.” At the very least, it’ll be a really great public gym.

[h/t The Telegraph]

All images by Forbes Massie courtesy Heatherwick Studios