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ValentineHeart_MatchMaker_2014Winner of the 2014 Times Square Valentine Heart Competition. Young Projects: Match-Maker. Rendering courtesy of Young Projects.

Young Projects' Match Maker was selected by Times Square Arts in collaboration with Van Alen Institute as the 2014 Times Square Valentine Heart Winner 

Times Square Arts collaborated with Van Alen Institute to select Young Projects' Match-Maker as the winner of the 2014 Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition, celebrating five years since the opening of the revitalized Father Duffy Square and iconic Red Steps.

The 2014 Valentine Heart was located at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th Streets. 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. The winner is selected by a jury and the installation will go on view to the public in early February. Previous winners of the Times Square Valentine Heart Design include: Young Projects (2014); Situ Studio (2013); BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) (2012); Freecell (2011); Moorhead & Moorhead (2010); and Gage/Clemenceau Architects (2009).

On October 16, 2008, the revitalized Father Duffy Square opened to the public, including the Theatre Development Fund's (TDF) state-of-the-art TKTS booth under Times Square's now iconic glowing red glass staircase. Under the vision and leadership of TDF, Van Alen Institute ran the international juried design competiion, which was the largest architecture competition in New York City history at that time with 683 entrants from 31 countries. The winning concept by John Choi and Tai Ropiha (Sydney, Australia) was designed by top international architecture and design firm Perkins Eastman. The revitalization also included an expanded Duffy Square plaza designed by architect William Fellows. The project to revitalize Father Duffy Square was overseen by the Times Square Alliance, Theatre Development Fund, and the Coalition for Father Duffy.

The proposals for the 2014 Valentine Heart Design Competition were reviewed by representatives from the Times Square Arts Advisory Committee and Van Alen Institute’s Board of Directors, with expertise across the worlds of design, public art, and city agencies: Barry Bergdoll, The Philip Johnson Curator of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art; Stephen Cassell, Principal, Architecture Research Office; Wendy Feuer, Manager of Urban Design & Art, Department of Transportation; Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Director of Queens Museum; Jennifer Lantzas, Public Art Coordinator, Department of Parks, City of New York; Jonathan Marvel, Principal, Marvel Architects; and Sara Reisman, Director of Percent for Art, Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional Jurors: David van der Leer, Executive Director, Van Alen Institute; Susannah Bohlke, Director of Operations, Van Alen Institute; Ellen Goldstein, VP of Planning, Policy & Design, Times Square Alliance; and Sherry Dobbin, Director of Public Art, Times Square Arts.

For more information, please email sbohlke@vanalen.org.

Van Alen Institute is dedicated to promoting innovative thinking about the role of architecture and design in civic life. Since its founding in 1894, Van Alen has shaped the public conversation and brought design excellence to sites and cities across the United States and beyond. Its widely influential legacy of competitions includes Public Property: An Ideas Competition for Governors Island (1996), which kicked off an international conversation about Governors Island and its redevelopment as a public resource. The winning entry of TKTS2K: A Competition to Design a New York Icon (1999) was constructed as the iconic TKTS booth in Times Square, reactivating public space at the busiest pedestrian intersection in New York City. Today, Van Alen continues to develop design competitions, research, and public programs that explore the cultural, political, ecological, and economic forces that activate the built environment. Learn more at www.vanalen.org.

Theatre Development Fund, a not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, was created in the conviction that the live theatrical arts afford a unique expression of the human condition that must be sustained and nurtured. It is dedicated to developing diverse audiences for live theatre and dance, and strengthening the performing arts community in New York City. Since 1968, TDF’s programs have provided over 85 million people with access to performances at affordable prices and have returned over $2.2 billion to thousands of productions. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF’s membership, outreach, access (including its newly formed Autism Theatre Initiative) and education programs — as well as its Costume Collection — have introduced thousands of people to the theatre and helped make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone, including students and people with disabilities. Recent TDF honors include a 2011 Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture, a 2012 Tony Honor for Excellence for its Open Doors Arts Education Program, a 2012 New York Innovative Theatre Award for its support of the off-Off Broadway community and a 2013 Lucille Lortel honor for “Outstanding Body of Work” in support of the Off Broadway community. For more information go to: www.tdf.org.