The Times Square Alliance takes "I ♥ New York" quite literally. For the past eight years, the nonprofit organization has invited architecture and design firms to create public art that responds to a Valentine's Day theme. This year the Times Square Alliance partnered with the Center for Architecture to administer the competition. Collective-LOK stole the hearts of jurists to win the 2016 Times Square Valentine Heart Design competition. Collective-LOK's submission, Heart of Hearts, is a circle of nine, ten-foot-tall golden hearts that reflect the lights and the goings-on of Times Square. The installation will be on view at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th Streets, from February 29 through March 6. The sculpture is interactive, balancing private and public space in one of the world's busiest pedestrian plazas. Within each heart is a "kissing booth" that encourages intimate but performative affection. “[We] are thrilled to create the Heart of Hearts for Valentine’s Day, an engagement ring for our love affair with the spectacle of Times Square," Collective-LOK declared in a statement. "It’s truly a special opportunity to provide a space for intimacy and performance in the heart of the city, one we hope visitors will love.” The featured rendering certainly captures the ballet of a good city sidewalk—a llama stares contentedly at its reflection, a lonely man flouting blue laws drinks champagne from the bottle, while the Naked Cowboy jams on, stage left. Why is that man staring into that woman's white skirt? It's all part of the spectacle, apparently. For more heartwarming displays of public art, see AN's coverage of past competition winners here.
Posts tagged with "Valentines Day":
A big, red fluttering heart will be aglow in Times Square this coming Valentine’s Day. Brooklyn-based, Venezuelan-born firm, Stereotank, has been named the winner of the 2015 Times Square Valentine Heart Design for its HEARTBEAT sculpture. The firm was invited, among others, to conceive a proposal for a Valentine's Day–inspired installation, located among the many glimmering lights of the Great White Way. The Times Square Alliance, in partnership with the Architectural League of New York, selected the winning proposal, which will open on February 9th. Stereotank’s HEARTBEAT is an interactive installation in the shape of a large heart, designed to glow along with the rhythm of a resonating heartbeat sound, set to a low frequency. Percussion instruments flank both sides of sculpture. The pace of the sound of this life-size beating heart will change in response to the movement and engagement of visitors as they near the sculpture and tap on its drums—each of which produces distinct sounds from different sized membranes and materials, including synthetic snare skin, synthetic snare skin will coil, animal hide, and hard plastic. “What's common between Love and Music? Love is about sharing and being ‘in tune’ with somebody, so it is the creation of music, a concert is a combined action where the performers are also ‘in tune’ creating harmony. Heartbeat orchestrates Times Square's unique, active, flickering atmosphere,” said Stereotank architects Sara Valente and Marcelo Ertorteguy in a statement. This year’s finalists included Alibi Studio; The Bittertang Farm & James Lowder; Chat Travieso; Modu Architecture; SLO Architecture; and Taylor Miller. Past winners of the competition, now in its seventh year, have included Young Projects (2014); Situ Studio (2013); BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) (2012); Freecell (2011); Moorhead & Moorhead (2010); and Gage / Clemenceau Architects (2009). “The combination of an interactive heart beat that increases with approach and the music making capacities is very interesting," stated Barry Bergdoll, part of the Selection Committee and the Meyer Shapiro Professor of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University. "It is an impressive object to occupy this space of cacophony, with sufficient red mass to be enjoyed even by wheeled passersby.”
Next week, the fifth iteration of the Times Square Alliance's Valentine Heart installation will officially open to the public. Brooklyn-based Situ Studio revealed their installation, Heartwalk, in January, which will be built with salvaged boardwalk boards from from the Hurricane Sandy-stricken Rockaways, Long Beach, Sea Girt, NJ, and Atlantic City. The Situ team has been busy removing hardware from the weathered planks and planing them for a smooth surface. The pre-assembled pieces will be taken to Times Square for assembly, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on February 12 at 11:00a.m. According to a statement from Situ Studio, "Visitors can enter the installation itself and literally stand in the heart of the world’s greatest city."
The fifth annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design has been awarded to Situ Studio. The Brooklyn-based architecture firm presented a design that features "boardwalk boards salvaged during Sandy’s aftermath—from Long Beach, New York; Sea Girt, New Jersey; and Atlantic City, New Jersey. " The project titled Heartwalk is described "as two ribbons of wooden planks that fluidly lift from the ground to form a heart shaped enclosure in the middle of Duffy Square." The competition was cosponsored by Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborated with Design Trust for Public Space. The installation opens on Tuesday, February 12, and remain on view until March 8, 2013.
Last year, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) got their heart broken by the Times Square Alliance, which chose a hula-hoop happy design by Freecell Studio for its annual Times Square Valentine's installation. Now a spokesperson from the Alliance admits that they always "loved" BIG's design and were willing to give it a second chance. This year, the Alliance didn't go online looking for love. Instead, they went back to a former flirtation, and chose BIG's entry from last year, shunning the possibility of outside suitors. BIG calls its 10-foot high glowing heart sculpture "BIG♥NYC." The design affair was something of a ménage à quatre, with Flatcut (the fabricator), Local Projects (the interaction designers), and Zumtobel (the lighting designers) pitching in on the effort. Four-hundred LED-lit acrylic tubes wrap a cube that bounds a suspended heart. Not surprisingly, when touched the heart grows brighter.
With Valentines Day barely a week away, the Times Square Alliance is eschewing flowers and candy yet again. Instead, they're sending New Yorkers a giant designer valentine for the second year in a row, as Moorhead & Moorhead will stage an installation adjacent the TKTS Booth beginning next Thursday. For the inaugural effort, Gage/Clemenceau created a laser-cut heart as flashy as the surrounding billboards. This year's entry is rather more demur, as Granger Moorhead explained. "We looked at last year's entry, 'Two Tons of Love,' and, well, at the end of the day you're just left with two tons of stuff, not to knock that project," Moorhead said. "We didn't want to do something that would be there at the end. We wanted something more ephemeral." The designers—Granger runs the firm with his brother Robert—settled on something that would leave no trace, except maybe for a puddle: 169 blocks of ice, inspired by mason's stones, stacked 10 feet high. Moorhead said the designers had been attracted by the challenge of having to design something that would be unpredictable, where they would not be in complete control. "We have no idea how this could turn out," he said. So forget our first thought, that a giant melting heart seemed like a melancholy reminder of the follies of love. Instead, we've been convinced by Moorhead to view this as a more promising reminder of love's potential, the breaking down of barriers, that first flutter in the chest. Just be careful not to slip and fall. You might wind up heartbroken.
Correction: Apparently, we can't keep our Marc/ks straight. In a previous version of this post, quotes attributed to Bailly were incorrectly attributed to Gage. Apologies all around. UPDATE: We've added some shop photos Mark (not Marc) kindly sent over. While not quite a standalone building, digitally-driven firm (and 2006 New Practices winners) Gage/Clemceau Architects will celebrate its coming out on February 11, when Marc Clemenceau Bailly and Mark Foster Gage deliver their "Valentine to Times Square." As Bailly told AN, "This is our first big thing that we've built, outside of a few exhition pieces and some interiors work." The 10-foot tall, two-ton heart is made up of some rather high tech components, including two stainless-steel ventricles precision-cut with water jets by Milgo Bufkin and then layered with "Strawberry Ice" translucent Corian that was CNC-milled and then embedded with purple LEDs by Evans & Paul. "We wanted to make something to showcase some of the technologies we're up to," Bailly said. (The project, which will be up for about two weeks, is not only a promotional for the Times Square Alliance, but also Zales, which will be hosting some sort of "Profess Your Love" competition with the heart as a back drop.) As with all the firm's work, this one began with some pretty heavy-duty computer modelling. "The software is really freeing us from platonic geometries," Bailly said. "We're getting to the point where we can make the surfaces do all the work." He said he hopes this project will serve as a showcase of what the firm's approach can bring to a project, and thus attract interest for more ground-up work, perhaps even some buildings. "With the steel skin and the Corian plates--floor plates, if you will--it's almost like a small building," Bailly said. But not only is computer modelling helping Gage/Clemenceau push the boundaries of their designs, but also their production. Bailly said it's took just over a month--and during the busy holiday season no less--to design, mock-up, and fabricate the heart, which is currently being assembled in Long Island City. Given that the client ran short on time to produce a Christmas tree, the original idea presented by the Times Square Alliance, speed was especially important on the second go-round.. Bailly said he's psyched on the results thus far, though he can't wait to see the project installed in Times Square. "The shapes are right on, which is nice because it means everything worked," Bailly said. "But it'll still be interesting to see how everything goes, especially in Times Square, with all those lights, and all that intensity. The stainless steel will hopefully capture all that, but we won't know what that's like until it's up." "The name, 'Valentine to Times Square,' is really what it's all about," Bailly added. "It's really a gift to the city."