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Release Date: Feb 12, 2013

Design Includes New York and New Jersey Boardwalk Boards Salvaged from the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy**

2013 Invited Competition is a Collaboration between Times Square Arts and the Design Trust for Public Space

(New York, N.Y.) - Brooklyn-based design firm Situ Studio is the winner of this year’s annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design. Over the last five years, the Times Square Alliance has invited architecture and design firms to submit proposals for a romantic public art installation celebrating Valentine’s Day in Times Square. This year’s winning design, Situ Studio’s Heartwalk, will be unveiled on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, and remain on view until March 8, 2013.

Cheerios is the official sponsor of Heartwalk. Additional Support has been provided by Arup Acoustics, Renfro Design Group Inc., Two Trees Management, HD MADE, JPR Lighting Group, Electrical Lighting Agencies, and Sawkill Lumber.

For the first time in this annual 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. Eight firms submitted proposals for the heart design.

The jury that selected the winning entry included: Barry Bergdoll, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art; Susan Chin, FAIA, Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space; Sherry Dobbin, Director of Public Art, Times Square Alliance; Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Director of Queens Museum of Art; Rosamond Fletcher, Director of Programs, Design Trust for Public Space; Sara Reisman, Director of Percent for Art, Department of Cultural Affairs; Jennifer Lantzas, Public Art Coordinator, Department of Parks, City of New York;  and Emily Colasacco, Manager, Urban Design & Art, Department of Transportation. Out of the eight proposals, the jury chose Situ Studio and their Heartwalk design as the winner.

Situ Studio took inspiration from the collective experience of Hurricane Sandy and the love that binds people together during trying times. 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 confronted all New Yorkers and New Jerseyans by transforming the familiar.

Using boardwalk boards salvaged during Sandy’s aftermath—from the Rockaways, Queens, New York; Long Beach, New York; Atlantic City, New Jersey; and Sea Girt, New JerseyHeartwalk 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 slatted construction, illuminated from within, provides varied views of the interior as visitors move around the perimeter of the installation. Visitors can enter the installation itself and literally stand in the heart of the world’s greatest city.

“Situ Studio, one of the most inventive and vibrant of New York's small young design firms, repeatedly transforms daily urban environments with simple materials in unexpected configurations,” said Barry Bergdoll, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art, and jury member. “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 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.”

Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said, “The Design Trust for Public Space’s knowledge of up-and-coming architecture and design firms, combined with their understanding of public space and audience engagement, made them a perfect partner. The presence of Situ Studio’s enveloping heart design—made of salvaged materials from Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath— in the Crossroads of the World will allow everyone to come together and acknowledge New York and New Jersey’s resiliency.”

“Times Square is one of the world's greatest public spaces. The concepts for the Valentine presented by these emerging practices ranged from imaginative and playful to interactive and sustainable. Situ's proposal created a special place where people can connect with each other in the heart of the city,” said Susan Chin, FAIA, Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space.

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.”

Visitors can post photos of their visit to Instagram via #HeartwalkTSq or #cheerioslove.

Follow on Twitter: #HeartwalkTSq, #cheerioslove, or #FreeLoveTSq.

Other invited finalists for the 2013 Times Square Valentine Heart Design included: Abrahams May Architects; Abruzzo Bodziak Architects LLC; EASTON+COMBS; FORMLESSFINDER; HOLLER Architecture; Manifold Architecture Studio; and RUX Design. Their proposals will be available for viewing on the websites of the Times Square Alliance, www.TimesSquareNYC.org/arts, and the Design Trust for Public Space, www.designtrust.org/.  

Previous winners of the Times Square Valentine Heart Design include the firms: BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) (2012); Freecell (2011); Moorhead & Moorhead (2010); and Gage / Clemenceau Architects (2009).

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Times Square Arts, the public arts program of the Times Square Alliance, presents leading contemporary art and performances in multiple forms and media to more than 400,000 daily visitors to New York City’s Times Square, making it one of the highest profile public arts programs in the United States. Since its inception, Times Square Arts has featured works by a diverse group of more than four dozen prominent and emerging artists. Working in partnership with cultural institutions and festivals, the program is further supported by Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Rockefeller Foundation’s Cultural Innovation Fund, which works to spur and support cultural innovation in New York City’s creative sector. Visit www.TimesSquareNYC.org/arts for more information. Follow us on Twitter: @TSqArts

The Design Trust for Public Space is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public space in New York City.  Since 1995, the Design Trust has advanced the quality of New York City’s public realm by forging critical alliances between city agencies, community groups, and private-sector professionals. The Design Trust thinks systemically about how cities work, and effect change through unconventional research, design and planning projects. Visit www.designtrust.org/ for more information.

Situ Studio was founded in 2005 in Brooklyn, New York, while its four partners were studying architecture at the Cooper Union.  Currently, Situ Studio is working on Design Lab, a re-design of New York Hall of Science’s 10,000 square foot main exhibition space to be completed in spring 2014. Recent projects include Hava Nagila: A Song for the People, an exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, reOrder, a site specific architectural environment for the Brooklyn Museum’s Great Hall and the Solar Pavilions, a series of three outdoor travelling pavilions that were installed at the CitySol Festival in NYC as well as other events in Brooklyn, Miami and New Jersey from 2006-2009. In 2011 the firm received Interior Design's Best of Year award for the reOrder installation and in 2006 the Award for Excellence in Design by the Art Commission of the City of New York.  Situ Studio has exhibited work at the Guggenheim Museum, AIA Center for Architecture, Van Alen Institute and the Fordham University Gallery at Lincoln Center.  Situ Studio’s projects have been published in The New York Times, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Architectural Record, LOG, C3, The Architect’s Newspaper, Interior Design, MARK, and 30,60,90. The partners have taught at Pratt Institute, GSAPP, and Columbia University and give workshops and lectures internationally. Visit Situ Studio http://www.situstudio.com/ and Situ Fabrication http://www.situfabrication.com/ for more information.