Why We Should Celebrate (Not Hate) New York’s Vessel | The B1M


Set to totally transform the Manhattan skyline when it fully completes in 2024, Hudson Yards is the largest private development project in US history. Constructed over a live railway yard, the
vast new district encompasses 28 acres of soaring skyscraper office blocks, premium high-rise apartments, a USD $2 billion shopping mall and several new restaurants. It even features a new arts centre with an impressive retractable roof. At the centre of the new development sits
the Vessel – a truly unique structure that, despite sitting much closer to ground level, still manages to overshadow many of the 200-metre towers around it. Indeed the work has polarised opinion and
faced criticism since its unveiling, with few arguing in its favour. It’s time to put that right. This is why
the project should be praised, not condemned. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick and rising
almost 50 metres above the site’s main public square, the Vessel is a striking new urban
landmark for New York. The structure is formed of 154 interconnected
flights of stairs, 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings, offering views of the city’s West Side, surrounding architecture and landscaped gardens. Heatherwick’s vision was to create a unique,
interactive and meaningful public space that could be climbed and explored, with room for
some 700 visitors at a time. Heatherwick Studio were inspired by the stepwells
of India – ancient subterranean structures that are now considered marvels of architecture
and geometry. However, instead of cascading downwards, this
creation branches out in the opposite direction, forming a shape similar to a bowl or vessel
– hence the name. The structure stretches out to 46 metres in diameter, but has a footprint just 15 metres wide. The result is nothing short of magnificent. A
complex framework with a copper-coated exterior and raw painted steel surfaces that combine
to create a dazzling reflective maze while offering a whole new perspective of the city. It’s also a wonder of construction. Perhaps
unsurprisingly, the structure’s unconventional approach presented a number of challenges during the design and build phases that had to be overcome. Its lack of floors and columns meant extra
care was taken to prevent extreme vibrations and oscillations when the structure is at
full visitor capacity. Following a process of detailed 3D modelling
and analysis, tuned mass dampers were mounted on springs within the upper landings, acting as a counterbalance to any potential sway. To avoid taking up too much ground-level public space, the structure was built offsite by Cimolai, a company based way over in Italy, before being shipped to the US and assembled piece-by-piece on site. The prefabricated parts – dubbed ‘dog bones’
due to their pre-assembled shape – were so large that they had to be shipped straight
to Hudson Yards, rather than driven over land for any long distance. The location of Hudson Yards towards the edge
of Manhattan Island can make it susceptible to strong winds from the Hudson River – a
factor which also had to be taken into account during the design phase. Simulating the air flow using SimScale, we
can see how wind passes through the Vessel, with areas of high velocity shown in red. The pressure generated by the wind can be
seen on the surface of the Vessel’s structure, with the highest areas of pressure load shown
in red. With more than 150,000 users worldwide, SimScale
is an easy-to-use cloud-based engineering simulation tool that enables everyone to create powerful, high-fidelity simulations in a web browser. The platform can be tried for free through
the Community account, which gives access to thousands of public simulations to promote
knowledge sharing and to crowdsource advice. Despite its design and engineering, the response to the Vessel since its completion in March 2019 has not been entirely positive. Some critics have labelled it a monument to excess, while others have called it a giant stairway to nowhere and questioned its overall purpose. Design comparisons have ranged from a wastepaper
basket to a giant doner kebab. The project has also been criticised for a
policy that allows the company behind the Vessel to use visitors’ photos taken on site and uploaded to social media for its own purposes. Following public outcry, the policy was updated
to clarify that visitors retain ownership of their photos, but that the company can
still use them for marketing and promotion. Although this element of criticism is understandable,
the wider outcry over the project as a whole seems unnecessarily harsh. The Vessel and its creators are surely owed more appreciation for taking an ambitious idea and executing it beautifully, and for trying to do something that’s never been done before with a public space – creating a new cultural landmark for New York and the wider US. As time passes, it seems that public and professional audiences alike are finally beginning to warm to it. With initial criticism calming down, more
and more architects are now beginning to give the Vessel the credit it deserves, including
a ‘Best Completed Building – Display’ award at the World Architecture Festival in
December 2019. And when a quick search on social media brings
up countless happy selfies taken on the structure, it appears visitors have generally given it
their approval too. It is worth remembering that prestigious city landmarks have not always been popular from the outset. Many of Paris’ citizens originally hated the Eiffel Tower, saying it didn’t fit with the rest of the city. Even the great Sagrada Familia in Barcelona – now recognised as one of Europe’s most important architectural landmarks – was once slated by well-known figures like Pablo Picasso and George Orwell. Perhaps the Vessel will follow a similar path. While
becoming accepted into one of the world’s most iconic cityscapes and earning a place
in the hearts of New Yorkers is no easy task, history will surely be kind to this remarkable
project, a truly unique structure that has captured the world’s attention and put this
city’s newest district on the map. If you enjoyed this video and would like to
get more from the definitive video channel for construction, subscribe to The B1M.

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Comments

  1. Adds fine coloring. Kind of resembles a nucleus activity in an atom. Sea level rise won't get to it either . . . helps people to see elevation on the Jersey shore. IF "sea level rise" is true . . . NYC NEEDS to start looking for bedrock and building sea walls down TO "bedrock" to seal off salt water infiltration. Tout suite!

  2. this is an interesting place, it looks amazing and I appreciate you taking the time to do this,, well done as always, thanks for posting

  3. It's not that this isn't an impressive architectural feat. It's that people are FINALLY criticizing pointless projects that cost a lot of money. This may not have been done before but neither has ending homelessness and hunger. THAT is where people are wanting to see these large amounts of money go. Why not fix our infrastructure that's overly vulnerable?! There are thousands of better ideas than stairs to nowhere.

  4. Would've been cooler if it was placed in a more prominent location with more sights to see.
    It's just blocked out by skyscrapers on three fronts and ocean by the other?

  5. It's a pleasure seeing the site coming together and how many tourists are already flocking. You forgot to mention, it is coated with copper. I did a lot of the work in the Equinox building right next to the comb.

  6. People just always wanna complain about something don't let this distract you from the fact that the flat iron building wasn't liked at first when first built

  7. If it maintained a sense of purpose within its context- like the stepped structures in India [not] having steps to nowhere- it’d be a little more understandable why it’d cost about $150 million for stairs with vantage points only of the development project it’s meant to attract visitors to.

    A new structural landmark? Yeah, for sure. A new cultural landmark? Not by a long shot, in my opinion.

  8. I feel that this structure and visitors alike would benefit from a lot more greenery. I'm surprised that it's not an actual park.
    Also, as a curiosity, aret those reflective surfaces prone to (dangerous) reflections from the sun?

  9. Personal taste of course in terms of just the look of it from ground level & not its utility (especially the thumbnail picture for this video). From the ground at a distance (as shown in the thumbnail photo) the Vessel looks insect like in shape. The copper color adds a resemblance to a certain common insect found in New York, the cockroach.

  10. Sorry but …no… I think it’s hideous and pointless. Surely a simple tower with an observation platform would have achieved its stated aim . One blessing is that it wasn’t built in London, they already have the biggest collection of acutely ugly modern buildings and wouldn’t need another.
    I know this channel is by/for architects but, as a lay person, it’s a bit tiresome hearing the droning mantra about the beneficial impact modern buildings have on their occupants and the wider society. Most modern buildings are obscene in every sense, and this thing is no exception.

  11. $150 million. For what? A great selfie platform? C'mon. The critics are right. That's too much to be spending on a building only architects will appreciate.

  12. I fail to see the purpose it has. Looks like to me just more wasted money on worthless what ever, in NY. Not to mention, WHY wasnt it built here in the US, Puttin the money in US pockets? Makes more sense than payin someone else in another country for somethin thats posed to be ina prominent place. I just dont understand.

  13. I like it. It's a public art piece, and those who don't like it probably don't get it anyway. If you polled them, I doubt you would find them frequent visitors of art galleries.

  14. I believe the criticism regarding the Vessel is a scapegoat for the overall feeling of the Hudson Yards Project. Even though the project itself is an architectural feat, the goals and purpose of this district is to cater to Billionaires and a life of luxury with little to no consideration for those who live in the surrounding area who will be impacted by tourism, hyper accelerated costs of living, and overall lack of quality public services that already plague NYC. I always enjoy the journalism that "The B1M" highlights, however I think taking a pro Hudson Yards stance here is a bit out of touch. I hope that if this channel continues to offer "opinion pieces", more thought will be given to all sides of those impacted by architecture, city planning, etc.

  15. Must agree with B1M this time. Essentially, a beautifully made monument to nothing but the joy of experiencing the thing is a monumental statement of human values, without which we cannot do.

  16. Pentagonal hexagonal pinecone beehive.. they doo like their symbolism for your buildings out there.
    I kinda like iit though.

  17. As an ex-New Yorker – and Westsider, to boot – I think it's stunning. Definitely the Eiffel Tower of the new millenium. Great job, folks.

  18. All massive urban landmarks have faced criticism when first unveiled. Take the Eiffel tower as an example… was dubbed a disgrace by parisians and almost torn down, but now it is a beloved symbol of Paris and French culture, loved by locals and tourists alike. The same will happen to the Vessel. People, visitors, tourists, they love it… it is just a matter of time until the critics come around too.

  19. You'd think the US didn't have a housing crisis and rising homelessness? But we have to remember that houses for normal people are secondary to playgrounds for the wealthy elite.
    #KeepCarryingWaterForThemB1M

  20. For such an expensive structure, wasn't possible a public library or public work space on the base?
    This would eliminate a lot of critics about the utility of it.

  21. A ridiculous folly that will no doubt become a mugger's paradise. And the comparison with the Eiffel Tower is facile in the extreme.

  22. I think the Vessel looks amazing and that innovative structure shows its real beauty. It is like icing on a huge cake which is Hudson Yards. Great video!

  23. It is a masterpiece of architecture & engineering an urban jewel that gives people the chance to view the city from a above and admire the beatuy of it's construction. People who hate this are negative people who hate also many other things & their word has no value so it's wiser to consider the thought of positive people that I don't believe they will find it ugly…

  24. This structure is so beautiful, it compliments the era we're in, no regard for race of size or form or maximum capitalisation, just pure art. It'll be the go to place in a few years to come!

    They should build a replica somewhere else made of sustainable material like wood/ bamboo/pure glass and grow plants on it.

  25. If the outer clading is made from copper, will it not turn green over time like the Staue of Liberty for example?

  26. Conspicuous consumption, conspicuous waste, conspicuous outrage…. someone might think NY was clawing for status. Typical homo sapiens behaviour. The responsibility for this comes down to thousands of years of evolution. Not an architect, city planners out of ideas or a grieving/fearful/angry populace. As the presenter alluded to with the Eiffel tower, this could happen in any city.

  27. That looks like an excellent piece. Would have looked better in central park though honestly. The only inexcusable modern building is that woeful big headed blob building in London. Bloody disgusting thing, I would be embarrassed to work in or have that building in view of my office/home.

  28. being at the center of Hudson Yard i believe that it is designed to really be the Pineal Gland, witch means it has significant.

  29. This will be another “Eiffel Tower” situation where a lot of people of the region absolutely HATE IT! but will eventually become another beloved landmark through time!!

  30. Yeah no, it sucks.

    80,000 people sleep on the New York streets per night and they decided to take up space and waste money with this?

  31. In my opinion, Hudson yards is one of the reasons the World Trade Center isn’t finished yet. So I’m not exactly a fan of the complex.

  32. I don't understand. Why was this building allowed to be built, if the people of N.Y. are disturbed by it and hates this monument? Seems like someone forced this on those who find it a waste of money while the homeless people are forced to live with the rats in the street. No funky building, no matter how impressively built shouldtover-ride the citizen of its city. They should moved back home to France where it belongs. Yes, it is impressive but is it useful for good or does it represent something dark and foreboding?
    Let the people starve for art is evil. Who put this there? It should be removed. Give the reward to those who want it. To force something on people is evil and wrong

  33. I have absolutely NO idea how they got that past the Access Board, which defines the maximum legal slope as 1 in 24 and requires that everything be ramps for wheel chairs. Considering that suing over a complaint of "inconvenience" is a national industry, I'd expect the owners to have to make "reasonable accommodations" (that is, completely rebuild it) within the next few years, as well as paying hundreds of millions in lawyers' fees to the plaintiffs attorneys.

  34. This video didn’t do a good job of convincing me, it seems rather an architect/engineers take on why it deserves praise, but that doesn’t reflect its position within everyday New Yorkers views on it imo

  35. Hudson Yards got 1.2 billion dollars funding that was supposed to be allocated for the development of affordable housing. That money was not supposed to be used for a billionaire's haven.

  36. its true dats y gov shuld make sure u if not luxury atleat everyone shuld hv gd life atleat gd enough to drink sleep eat if not expensive cars or traveling or clubs,,,,,,,it depends a lot wer u born,,,,its only one life so hope most people make it

  37. This is a perfect example of the destruction of our architectural athstetic compared to the past the buildings we make today are ugly and drab and pointless many buildings look like cancerous growths in our citys

  38. Its ugly! There I said it. Its too big to be some kind of art piece, excessive to the point of tacky, like a belt buckle that is way too big. If it were in front of a Vegas hotel, it would belong. NYC has an iconic skyline and now there is that gross thing standing out like a pimple on a beautiful model's face.

  39. Don't know why, but M.C. Escher keeps coming to mind.
    As far as acceptance? I don't think so much the Eiffel Tower or La Sagrada Familia, as I do the Louvre Pyramid.
    Time will tell ……..

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