Times Square, New York

Before

Times Square, now known as One Times Square becomes the most popular building in the world once every year. On the New Year’s Eve, the glittering ball descends slowly from the top of this structure to mark the passing from one year to the next. Over a million people gather at this place to observe the dropping of the ball along with hundreds of millions watching at home on television.

Located in the city of New York with an average of 45 million visits each year, Times Square is the most visited destination in the New York and the United States.

Brightly adorned with billboards and advertisements, Times Square is also referred to as “The Crossroads of the World”, “The Center of the Universe”, “The Heart of the Great White Way”, and “Heart of the World”.

After

RECONSTRUCTION

Architect: Snøhetta

Project name: Times Square Reconstruction

Location: New York City

Scope: Renovation

In 2010, the New York City Department of Design and Construction and the New York City Department of Transportation selected Snøhetta to lead the design of the new public spaces in Times Square. While the site has long been an icon for entertainment, culture and urban life, the physical and operational conditions of the streets, sidewalks and sub-surface infrastructure such as sewers, have deteriorated over time, detracting from the functionality and safety of this critical crossroads.

Project Site – Bowtie

Like any crossroads, the “Crossroads of the World” evolved through trading, talking, selling and hawking. But its shape and sweep evolved by design. One of the world’s busiest pedestrian areas, it is also the hub of Broadway Theatre District and a major centre of the world’s entertainment industry.

Times Square’s signature buildings and spectacular signs – the glowing walls of the Bowtie – create an outdoor room right in the heart of Manhattan. Snohetta’s design creates uncluttered pedestrian zones and a cohesive surface from building front to building front that reinforces the Bowtie’s role as an outdoor stage. This clear and simple ground surface made of pre-cast concrete pavers creates a strong anchor for the space, allowing the excitement of Times Square’s commercial components to shine more brightly above.

Times Square – Custom Pavers

The area’s new two-toned custom pavers are embedded with nickel-sized steel discs that will capture the neon glow from the signs above and playfully scatter it across the paving surface. In addition to simplifying the ground surface by consolidating both moveable and permanent sidewalk and street elements, Snøhetta’s redesign also addresses practical issues such as drainage and maintenance and programmatic flexibility.

According to Craig Dykers, “Our goal is to improve the quality and atmosphere of this historic site for tourists and locals, pedestrians and bicyclists, while reducing the traffic impediments so the “Crossroads of the World” will retain its edge while refining its floor.

The project site, known as the “Bowtie”, forms the heart of the Times Square theater district, and is bounded by Broadway and 7th Avenue between 42nd and 47th streets.  Snøhetta’s design is inspired by Times Square’s past and its rich entertainment history – a duality that influenced both the larger concept and the project’s details. The proposal creates an integrated and iconic multi-functional public space that reflects the best of Times Square and New York City.

Times Square

According to Craig Dykers, “Our goal is to improve the quality and atmosphere of this historic site for tourists and locals, pedestrians and bicyclists, while reducing the traffic impediments so the “Crossroads of the World” will retain its edge while refining its floor.

Granite Benches at Times Square

Ten granite benches oriented along Broadway will define and frame the area’s public plazas. These benches will act as a magnet for visitors, create an infrastructural spine for events, and provide a clear orientation device for tourists and locals alike.