The $15 billion Hudson Yards development will have a work of public art as its centerpiece. Stephen Ross, the founder of Related Companies who are the developer for the project, has commissioned the British artist and designer Thomas Heatherwick to create the artwork on a four acre public space. Thomas Woltz, the landscape architect will work with him in designing the entire space. Thomas Heatherwick is known for his visually spectacular creations including the Olympic cauldron at the 2012 London Games. The developers are aiming to make the four acre public space a new icon for the New York City. They are not cutting any corners and plan to invest $75 million in the project making it one of the most expensive works of public art in the world.
The Art Work is Expected to be Developed on a Gathering Theme
The details of the artwork are not available as it is still in the planning stage but according to sources familiar with the project it would have a ‘gathering’ theme. The Hudson Yards project is meant to remake Manhattan’s West Side with a cluster of office skyscrapers and high rise apartments. The four acre plot is to be developed as the public plaza and the art work is expected to be its focal point. The developers are hoping that it becomes comparable to great urban plazas such as New York’s Rockefeller Center or Rome’s Piazza del Campidoglio, designed by Michelangelo. Mr. Heatherwick is upbeat about the project as he considers it a once in a lifetime opportunity to integrate a public space into the fabric of the city.
Ross Personally Interacted With Artists to Make the Selection
This public space might also serve as an extension to the adjacent Culture Shed which has been planned as an exhibition space. It is expected to serve as a northern anchor for a new cultural corridor emerging along the West Side. Mr. Ross who is on Culture Shed’s board of trustees was personally involved in the selection process in the selection of an artist to develop a vision for the public space. He had personally interacted with eminent artists like Jeff Koons, Anish Kapoor, Maya Lin and Richard Serra to discuss ideas for the project. Chicago’s Millennium Park is a comparable project from a recent past. The 25 acre park built at a cost of $17 million has also invested heavily in public art.