“This heart is a frame for lovers and a great civic gesture commemorating the outpouring of support and help in the wake of Sandy,” said Barry Bergdoll, Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, and a member of the jury that selected Situ’s design as the winner. “Heartwalk is a heartwarming stage on which to pause for a moment in the heart of the world’s busiest intersection—a swell of emotions that can dialogue with the TKTS pavilion and the great cacophony of Times Square.”
Situ beat out eight other firms for the top spot in the competition, which was a collaboration between Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance and Design Trust for Public Space.
Heartwalk will transform Times Square with two ribbons of elevated wood planks that will curve together to form a heart-shaped pavilion in the middle of Duffy Square. The structure will be illuminated from within and invite visitors to stand within a literal and figurative “heart of New York City.” Though the Times Square Valentine’s Day installation is typically geared towards couples, this year’s design will have an added significance honoring love as a way to overcome times of hardship such as those so many of us faced during Hurricane Sandy. Situ tied this meaning into Heartwalk’s physical construction by opting to utilize boardwalk planks from some of the communities hardest hit by the storm.
“We were interested in creating a room within the city—a public space that was simultaneously interior and exterior. Taking inspiration from the collective experience of Sandy, Heartwalk is a reflection on the things that bind us together, ephemeral and permanent,” said Bradley Samuels, a partner at Situ Studio.
Heartwalk will be unveiled on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, and remain on view until March 8, 2013.
Renderings: Situ Studio