New TKTS booth brings something different to New York’s most famous junction
Following the largest design competition in New York City’s history, the new TKTS project, designed by Perkins Eastman, opened in Times Square on the 16th of October. The brief was to redesign a classic New York icon, the TKTS booth at the centre of Times Square. The winning entry by Australian-based architectural firm Choi Ropiha served as inspiration for Perkins Eastman's design and not only accomplished the brief, but also went further by reframing the structure as an urban design project. The design philosophy behind this choice stemmed from the fact that the original booth was one of New York’s great gathering points, and a focal point for urban theatre, yet there was nowhere for people to sit and soak in the ambience.
The designers responded to this by structuring the top of the new booth as a terrace, with a series of tiered red translucent steps forming the seating, with the new booth housed underneath. This tiered seating was then lit from below, causing it to give off a warm glow at night and giving the TKTS a strong visual presence in the already visually charged context of Times Square. The new design also frames the existing statue of Father Duffy, providing a public space where visitors and customers can stop and absorb the striking ambience of the area.
One of the jurors for the competition, Tucker Viemeister, believes the new TKTS booth to be a welcome addition to the visually frenetic environment, “It goes beyond meeting the criteria [of the competition] and is even poetic, which is really hard considering the Times Square environment. It will become a landmark.”
The TKTS booth is a collaborative effort between the Times Square Alliance, Theatre
Development Fund (TDF), and Coalition for Father Duffy. Perkins Eastman designed the booth and
floating red glass amphitheater while Williams Fellows
Architects, a New York-based architecture and interior design firm, designed the
plaza. Other technical and construction team members include: Dewhurst Macfarlane
and Partners; iG Innovation Glass; D. Haller, Inc.; DMJM Harris; David Shuldiner,
Inc.; and Merrifield–Roberts. Through their input, the concept has evolved to become an exceptional bespoke glass structure sitting on an expanded open plaza.