Situ Studio wins annual competition for romantic installation in Times Square, NY
Just last week it was announced that the Brooklyn-based design firm, Situ Studio had won this year's annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design. This design competition invites architecture and design firms to create designs for a romantic public art installation celebrating Valentine's Day. Over the last five years, the Times Square Alliance has installed designs from BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) (2012); Freecell (2011); Moorhead & Moorhead (2010); and Gage / Clemenceau Architects (2009) in Times Square from February through till March. This year's winning design, Situ Studio's Heartwalk, will be unveiled on Tuesday, 12 February 2013, and remain on view until 8 March 2013.
For the first time in this competition, Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborated with Design Trust for Public Space to invite emerging architecture and design firms to submit proposals for consideration. The jury included a selection of representatives from the Arts world including The Museum of Modern Art, FAIA, Queens Museum of Art and also departments within Government. Out of the eight proposals, the jury chose Situ Studio and their design ‘Heartwalk' as the winner.
"This heart is a frame for lovers and a great civic gesture commemorating the outpouring of support and help in the wake of Sandy. Heartwalk is a heart-warming 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," comments jury member Barry Bergdoll, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art.
Situ Studio has created a design which encompasses the love that binds people through trying times. Taking inspiration from the collective experiences of Hurricane Sandy they looked at the way all New Yorkers and New Jerseyans were confronted by the transformation of the familiar. Whether it was the radically reconfigured landscapes, the compromised infrastructural networks or the temporary solutions that emerged in the days and weeks that followed the storm, Hurricane Sandy drastically altered the lives of everyone affected.
Heartwalk begins 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 installation uses boardwalk boards salvaged during Sandy's aftermath from Long Beach, New York; Sea Girt, New Jersey; and Atlantic City, New Jersey. The slatted construction is lit from within and provides glimpses of the interior as visitors move around the perimeter of the installation. Visitors can also enter into the enclosed space and stand in the heart of the one of the world's greatest city.
Bradley Samuels, Situ Studio partner, said: "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."