BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Downtown photographer Milo Hess would not have missed the opportunity to shoot Vessel at the opening of Hudson Yards on Fri., March 15.
The interactive sculpture is the centerpiece of the new complex, located just south of the Javits Convention Center.
The newly constructed structure offers some great views of the Hudson River, New Jersey and Greenwich Village. But Hess, known for his art photos, was naturally more interested in the unusual angular views of the Vessel itself.
Designed by English architect Thomas Heatherwick, the 15-story-tall artwork is a honeycomb of copper-coated steel.
It sports 154 staircases, 80 landings and 2,500 steps, and has a capacity of 700 people. If you walk up and down it in a continuous circular path, the distance traveled is one mile. There is a small elevator, as well. (And, no, the glowing blue light in the center of Vessel’s floor is actually not a “Star Trek”-like “transporter” that will beam you up to the structure’s top. But it looks pretty cool.)
Vessel is completely open to the elements. So, if it’s pouring rain or snowing, don’t expect it to be open.
Vessel is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It’s free, but timed tickets much be purchased online at www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com/discover/staircase/.
While the soaring structure has garnered plenty of praise, there will, of course, always be critics — and jokesters: Slate, for one, likened it to a gigantic shawarma rotisserie grill.