Is New York building a real stairway to heaven?
Plans have been approved for a giant staircase to be built as part of a new community space in the middle of Manhattan.
Comprised of 154 intricately interconnecting flights of stairs – almost 2500 individual steps and 80 landings – the standalone staircase called Vessel will encourage visitors to climb the space and experience the city from different vantage points.
When complete, this continuous chain of open spaces on the West Side will run from Gansevoort Street to Times Square, making it the largest network of public spaces developed in Manhattan since Central Park.
These 3D renderings show the 1.6km climbing space will “lift the public up”, offering a new of way for tourists and locals alike to experience views of New York’s iconic skyline.
Tasked with designing a centrepiece for an unusual new piece of land in New York, London-based designer Thomas Heatherwick says it shouldn’t just be something to look at: “Instead we wanted to make something that everybody could use, touch, relate to.”
“Influenced by images we had seen of Indian stepwells, made from hundreds of flights of stairs going down into the ground, an idea emerged to use flights of stairs as building elements,” he says.
It is estimated the Vessel will cost $US150 million to build and it is expected to open in 2018.