Inspire

New York Is Getting A $200 Million Staircase To Nowhere

Very M.C. Escher.

Forget a stairway to heaven, how about a stairway to nowhere? That’s exactly what’s being built in New York City right now.

Artist and architect Thomas Heatherwick has made a reputation for himself as a purveyor of avant garde designs and his latest piece is no different. ‘The Vessel’ is a series of staircases and landings that serve no commercial purpose: the stairs don’t actually go anywhere.

The Escher-esque construction will cost $150 million US dollars ($200 million AUD) and weigh over 600 tonnes. It will be located in the borough of Manhattan as part of the Hudson Yard development, a project that breathes new life into the oft-neglected surrounds of the Hudson River.

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Constructed of bronzed steel and concrete, the piece will have 154 intersecting flights of stairs – a total of 2500 climbable steps – serving as viewing platforms for the built up surrounds of The Big Apple. Because the stairs in question don’t actually lead anywhere, the sculpture will function as an observation deck for the city, but we prefer to think of it as a giant adult playground.

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Heatherwick and his team of 150 designers and architects have previously worked on pieces such as The Olympic and Paralympic cauldron for the 2012 London games, as well as the latest incarnation of London’s double decker buses and The Garden Bridge over the River Thames.

The Vessel is set to open in 2018.

(All images: Heatherwick Studio)