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Old Posted Sep 15, 2016, 12:12 AM
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The tower, which is being fabricated in Italy at an estimated cost of $150 million, will be able to accommodate up to 1,000 people at once. It’s been christened Vessel—“at least until someone comes up with a better, funnier, New Yorkier name,” Heatherwick said. At an unveiling ceremony this morning in Manhattan, emceed by Anderson Cooper and attended by New York mayor Bill de Blasio, Ross said, “Everyone who comes to New York visits the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. We were looking for a 365-day Christmas tree.”

“This is ultimately a Keep Fit project,” says the British designer Thomas Heatherwick of his new $150m commission for New York, unveiled today in Hudson Yards, the major redevelopment project on Manhattan’s West Side. Made of 154 interlinked staircases and 80 platforms, that add up to nearly 2,500 steps, Heatherwick’s Vessel will serve as the centrepiece of a five-acre public square and gardens built over a city rail yard.

“The idea was that we could make something that you could get up at 6am every morning and you’re walking up the equivalent of 16 storeys,” Heatherwick tells The Art Newspaper. “It’s an achievement to get to the top and get back down.” The designer points to a particularly New York way of life that manages to include fitness in a busy schedule. “I remember coming to New York as a teenager and I’d never seen people in suits with bright white trainers—just powerwalking to work,” he says.

.....“Rather than make something that you just look at, and you’re supposed to clap and admire in some way, we were interested in how we could make it have a different social function,” Heatherwick says. “In a space that can hold thousands of people, the notion was not really just making a thing, it was about lifting the people up to see each other.”

The designer is also quick to emphasise that the point was not to create another monumental sculpture. “There’s a 1200-ft high tower, which will have NY’s highest observation deck next to it. It’s really more about this human scale,” Heatherwick says. “There’s often city bashing, people being very negative about what a city is. But looked at from another angle, a city is a very special thing. The way, when a city works well, we protect each other, we protect strangers.” Perhaps that is why in the renderings, the piece resembles a giant openwork hive, with people buzzing around its various levels.
NEW YORK heals.

“Office buildings are our factories – whether for tech, creative or traditional industries we must continue to grow our modern factories to create new jobs,” said United States Senator Chuck Schumer.
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