...Creating an Urban Icon at the Crossroads of the World
The new TKTS booth and the redevelopment of Father Duffy Square create a new center for Times Square, one of the world’s most popular and iconic destinations. The project began in 1999 with a design competition to re-design the popular TKTS booth. While the competition brief simply requested designs for a small scale architectural structure to replace the existing ticket booth, Australian firm Choi Ropiha reframed the problem as one requiring a broader urban design response to invigorate and provide a center for Times Square, and won the competition.
In 2001, Perkins Eastman was brought on board to evaluate the Choi Ropiha scheme, and developed several approaches and from those a final design which, while informed and inspired by the original concept, used a distinctly 21st Century set of approaches: glass would now be employed as the TKTS Booth’s sole structural component for the steps and the TKTS Booth itself would be free standing within the glass enclosure. Cutting-edge technology was integrated throughout the lighting and mechanical systems as well. LED arrays beneath the steps create buoyant luminescence underfoot. Five geothermal wells circulate a water/glycol mix 450 feet below Broadway and back again through heat exchangers that cool the interior in summer, warm it in winter and keep the staircase ice free. Completing the transformation of Father Duffy Square was the work of William Fellows (now with PKSB), who transformed the public space of the square to allow for increased pedestrian traffic and more prominence for Father Duffy’s commanding statue.