Vessel and the Shed: A Walk in Hudson Yards at Sunset

Hudson Yards, currently under construction over the West Side Rail Yards in far Midtown West, is one of the largest real estate developments in New York history. Watching the massive development take shape over 28 acres is akin to being present for the creation of Rockefeller Center during the 1930s. Hudson Yards takes up an even bigger footprint than the 22 acres of the Fifth Avenue Rockefeller complex, and its ambitions are no less vaulting.

The centerpiece public art for Hudson Yards is called "Vessel," a 150-foot-tall structure of interwoven steps and landings. View of Vessel under construction.

Hudson Yards will boast its own equivalent of Rockefeller Plaza and Radio City Music Hall in the form of two structures known as “Vessel” and “the Shed.” Vessel, an interactive public artwork designed by Thomas Heatherwick, will consist of inter-woven stairs and landings that zigzag up and out, in the shape of a vessel, to a height of 150 feet. I imagine Vessel will provide a handy place to escape the crowds of the High Line below, until, of course, it becomes too crowded. At which point, we will need to fly.

The outer shell of "the Shed" is taking place. The cultural center is designed to accommodate a variety of productions with a moveable shell that can telescope open or closed.

This public walking structure is meant to serve as the dazzling centerpiece of the equally ambitious Public Square and Gardens. The Vessel and the public square are scheduled to open in fall 2018. If you need knee replacement, do it now.

Hudson Yards - view of Vessel and the Shed from 11th Avenue

On the south side of Vessel, along W. 30th Street, a new cultural complex known as the Shed is also taking shape. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group, the Shed will host a variety of entertainments. The structure’s outer moveable shell can be “deployed,” as the designers describe it, to accommodate different sorts of productions. Scheduled to open in spring 2019, the Shed has already commissioned conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner, a Bronx native, to create a work for the 200,000-square-foot space. I assume it will be large.

Outside the 7 train Hudson Yards station, a view of the complex under construction.

If anyone wants to wander over and observe the construction of Hudson Yards, the nearby subway is already in place for easy access. Stroll south along 11th Avenue. The golden hour makes a good time to watch the city walk into the sunset and catch a train going west.

West Side Rail Yards at sunset

Related on this website:
7 Walks from the 7 Train, 34 Street-Hudson Yards Subway Station. 

External links:
• Hudson Yards http://www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com/
• The Shed http://theshed.org/

Entrance, at subway station, looking north.





At the time of my visit, the information kiosk in the mostly empty subway station showed the wrong time in addition to a blank sheet of information. I read this as a metaphor for basically everything.

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from August 6, 2017.

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About Walking Off the Big Apple



Walking Off the Big Apple features self-guided tours to neighborhoods, streets, cultural history, good books, architecture, museums, parks, landscapes, and offbeat travel experiences in New York City.

Older posts will sometimes be updated to reflect relevant changes in the city, i.e. store or restaurant closings or transit information.

Writer and editor Teri Tynes created Walking Off the Big Apple in the summer of 2007. Email: teritynes@gmail.com.