Opening today for Veterans Day, a new pavilion designed by Brooklyn-based Matter Architecture Practice aims to bring a little Peace and Quiet to the hectic liveliness of Times Square. The new temporary pavilion, built yesterday and set to remain standing through November 16 is described as a “dialogue station” by its architects. “It is a tranquil place to meet, share stories, leave a note, shake hands, or meet a veteran in person,” Matter continues on its website. Times Square “seemed the ideal circumstance (or mad challenge) to initiate and inform a poignant exchange of ideas, to will intimacy in an instance of its opposite.”
Matter’s principals, Sandra Wheeler and Alfred Zollinger, proposed the pavilion as part of the Times Square Alliance’s Public Art Program’s call for proposals. The project was selected from around 400 entries and later funded through Kickstarter. Located at the opposite end of Times Square from the US Army Recruiting Station, Peace and Quiet aims to provide a refuge and portal for veterans returning to civilian life to meaningfully engage with a public that the veterans might not otherwise encounter. The pavilion provides an opportunity for quiet discussion in the middle of one of New York’s busiest public spaces where 500,000 people pass through daily.
“Discussions between civilians and veterans often fall prey to judgment, stereotypes, or bi-partisan politics simply because these two groups do not know enough about one another,” said Wheeler in a statement. “Through conversations focusing on the human experience, we’ve been surprised to discover that there is significantly more common ground than one would think. These are the kinds of conversations we, as a civic society, need to have.”
Peace and Quiet is open daily at the foor of the TKTS steps in Times Square from 12:00pm until 8:00pm through November 16.