Dezeen Magazine

Vessel and The Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards

Thomas Heatherwick's Vessel to reopen in New York on Friday with buddy system to prevent suicides

Individual visitors will be banned from Thomas Heatherwick's Vessel attraction in New York when it reopens on Friday, four months after a third suicide forced it to close.

The 46-metre-high viewpoint at Hudson Yards in Manhattan will reopen on 28 May with a raft of new measures to prevent people jumping.

These include a buddy system that will require visitors to be in groups of two or more before entering the attraction designed by British designer Heatherwick.

Only groups of two or more allowed

"Vessel was envisioned as a shared, immersive design experience," said a spokesperson for Hudson Yards developer Related Companies.

"Requiring visitors to attend in groups of two or more significantly enhances the safety of the experience."

Dezeen understands that Heatherwick Studio had put forward a study that proposed design changes to the structure, but Vessel will reopen with the new ticketing system instead.

Related Companies has also partnered with Born this Way Foundation, the mental-health charity established by performing artist Lady Gaga, to create signage for the venue and print messages on the tickets offering help to those in distress.

Three deaths at the viewpoint since 2019

Three people have died by suicide at the Vessel in three different incidents since it opened in 2019.

The attraction in Hudon Yards has been closed since a 21-year-old man jumped from the Vessel on 11 January.

At the time, Related Companies told Dezeen it would consult with psychiatrists and other experts about implementing suicide-prevention strategies at the viewpoint.

A 24-year-old woman from New York died after jumping from the structure in December of 2020 while a 19-year-old man from New Jersey died in February 2019, before its official opening.

Vessel is a honeycomb-shaped attraction formed of 154 staircases that meet at 80 landing platforms, providing 360-degree views of the Hudson Yards development, the High Line and the Hudson River.

Heatherwick Studio's other major public project in New York, a 2.4-acre park and performance venue elevated over the Hudson on concrete columns called Little Island, opened on Friday last week.

The main image is by Michael Moran for Related Companies.