Related Companies' head honcho Stephen Ross has boasted several times about his grand plans for a colossal sculpture in the public plaza of Hudson Yards. He's compared it to the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, the Trevi Fountain, and the Eiffel Tower, and hosted a "sculpt-off" between modern artistic legends. And finally, a winner has emerged. The Journal reports that Ross selected the British artist and designer Thomas Heatherwick to design the artwork, which will be "a new icon for the city." Ross plans to spend at least $75 million on the sculpture, which will have a "gathering" theme. Heatherwick will work with landscape architect Thomas Woltz of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects to design the 4-acre plaza in which the artwork will be placed.
Heatherwick's previous work includes London's new double-decker bus and the sea urchin-like U.K. pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. MoMA's senior curator of architecture and design said his work "is about magic. He's so good at spectacle," which seems to be exactly what Ross is looking for. Heatherwick beat out Jeff Koons, Anish Kapoor, and Maya Lin. Ross also wanted Richard Serra to submit an idea, but Serra declined, saying "that wasn't how he worked."
· Aiming for an Artistic 'Icon' [WSJ]
· Thomas Heatherwick [official]
· All Hudson Yards coverage [Curbed]
Photoshopped image shows Heatherwick's UK pavilion in a rendering of Hudson Yards' public plaza