A staircase to nowhere or a Shawarma? Thomas Heatherwick responds to criticism of the Vessel

The attraction is the centerpiece of Hudson Yards

Architecture critics haven’t taken much of a shine to the artistic showpiece of Hudson Yards, the 15-story climbable sculpture called “The Vessel.”

The New York Times’ Michael Kimmelman described it as “a 150-foot-high, $200 million, latticed, waste-basket-shaped stairway to nowhere, sheathed in a gaudy, copper-cladded steel.”

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Related Companies’ Stephen Ross, who worked closely with designer Thomas Heatherwick, wanted the public to give it an affectionate nickname. Instead, it has been christened “the Shawarma.”

On the opening day of Hudson Yards, The Real Deal‘s Erin Hudson asked Heatherwick to address criticism of the sculpture, which he said was inspired by ancient Indian stepwells and could be New York’s version of the Eiffel Tower.

Meanwhile, Related is “refining” its privacy policy regarding photos of the attraction, which gives the developer sole ownership of any photos or videos “depicting or relating to the Vessel.”

Check out the video above.