Hudson Yards Sculpture ‘Vessel’ To Reopen With Nets After Suicides Prompted Closure

Visitors will be able to walk up The Vessel, Thomas Heatherwick’s gleaming sculpture at Hudson Yards later this year, after several suicides closed public access in 2021.

New “cut-resistant” steel mesh barriers will be installed on several of the sculpture’s stairways and platforms, and the top level will stay off limits to visitors, according to the Associated Press, which first reported the news. Several suicides forced a closure of the 150-foot structure.

Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.

A spokesperson for Related Companies, the owner of Hudson Yards, did not confirm when the structure would reopen but told the Associated Press “the developer looked forward to welcoming visitors back later this year.”

The 16-story copper sculpture, which has been repeatedly compared to a shawarma, began with a budget of $75 million before ballooning to a reported $200 million “with some landscaping added”.

Its original design of 154 flights and 80 platforms was intended to prompt a kind of fatigue among visitors “What I like about stairs—as soon as you start using your body, it breaks down potential artistic bullshit, because there’s just an immediacy to straining your leg,” Heatherwick told the New Yorker’s Ian Parker in 2018.

As art critic Andrew Russeth described it earlier this year, “It looks alien and a little menacing, like a digital creation clicked and dragged from a computer screen into real life. It is vacuous in its celebration of vertigo-inducing capital and private ambition, and even though it closes to visitors not long thereafter, in May 2021, it has to rank as one of the defining architectural projects—one of the defining artworks—of the era.”

Heatherwick’s design was also found not to be accessible for people with disabilities, a violation of the American Disabilities Act of 1990. As a result, New York prosecutors required the installation of a platform lift mechanism in 2019.

Despite this omission and a plethora of nicknames, the sculpture quickly became the centerpiece of the Hudson Yards development and a popular tourist attraction.

But after three people jumped from the structure and died in less than a year, access was closed to the public in early 2021. Instead of installing barriers, the Vessel reopened that year with the addition of suicide prevention signs, enhanced security, and a ban on solo hikes up its steps. Two months later, a teen visiting the sculpture with his family fatally jumped off, prompting another closure.

Manhattan community board chair Jessica Chait praised the sculptures changes but told the Associated Press they had been suggested long before.

“While we think it took Related four lives too many to make these physical adjustments, these are the changes we requested, which will allow for prioritizing the safety of everyone who visits the Vessel,” she said.


No votes yet.
Please wait...