The Project Scope
‘The Story of New York’s Staircase’ is a unique book that provides a visual documentary of the construction and design of the “Vessel” structure in New York City. Production and distribution for an international customer base were especially important, and the project involved bringing several parties together to ensure the book was responsibly printed using FSC certified paper, and subsequently distributed as intended by German publisher Prestel Verlag.
The Vessel is an extraordinary landmark comprising a full mile of pathways, 2,500 steps, 154 staircases, and 80 landings offering fantastic views of the city. The book tells the story of people meeting there and communicating while moving in a three-dimensional city context. So, with this in mind, the overall concept for the project was to echo the idea of the structure as best as possible in a far more two-dimensional medium. This was achieved by the addition of a unique punched staircase motif to the paperback book and to the slipcase that accompanied a special VIP edition.
A Collaborative Approach
As a project that focuses on architecture and design further involvement and collaboration was key to the success of this project. This was especially true in relation to the overall production quality, which included numerous intensive sessions at a London repro house to ensure that attention and precision were paid to the overall colour and design.
Overseeing these processes were the Imago team, publishing staff from Prestel Verlag, UK architect Thomas Heatherwick who had been commissioned by an American construction group to build the “Vessel” at the Hudson Yard in New York, plus a freelance UK editor and independent UK based book design team.