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Brooklyn-Based Firm Situ Studio Selected As Winner Of The 2013 Times Square Valentine Heart Design 

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

situ rendering crop
Rendering courtesy of Situ Studio 

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.

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.   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.  

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.  Click here for more information about the annual competition and the jury.

Finalists for the 2013 Times Square Valentine Heart Design


Abrahams May Architects

Abrahams May Architects Valentine Heart Design 2013

Abrahams May Architects:  Two Hearts

On Valentine’s Day, the average high in Times Square is a chilly 32 °F – a temperature antithetical to the warmth of the holiday.  Meanwhile, steam with a temperature of 358 °F passes unseen just below Father Duffy Square as it circulates through the one-hundred mile long city-wide network. Two Hearts proposes tapping into the system to create a warm microcosm for the 370,000 daily visitors and their loved ones.

A heart-shaped radiator heats and excites the air above a large existing subway grating. The resulting heat haze visually signifies the boundary of this world.  Inside, the air feels noticeably warmer. Touch seems the appropriate sense to activate this holiday – especially given the overwhelming sights and sounds of the surroundings. A red neon heart confi rms the well-known holiday symbolism, and encourages viewers to look at their city below the surface to see the warm heart that’s more than skin deep.  www.abrahams-may.com  Click here to download PDF of proposal



EASTON COMBS Valentine Heart Design 2013

EASTON+COMBS: Love Triangle New York

www.eastoncombs.com        avoidobvious.com        Click here to download PDF of proposal



FORMLESSFINDER Valentine Heart Design 2013


This February, FORMLESSFINDER wants to give anyone who loves New York the chance to deliver a love letter straight to the heart of the city. Drawing inspiration from Valentines Day itself—a holiday all about sending the right message to the one you love—and the blinking billboards, streaming newsfeeds, and luminous screens that make Times Square the most exciting urban environment in the world, Love Letters imagines a new kind of interactivearchitecture.  A ground level LED screen, sculpted into two iconic hearts propped against each other in a mutually supporting embrace, incorporates a custom interfacethatallowspasserby—or their friends at home—to interact with the installation through an array of social media platforms, sending valentine messagesto be flashed across the3D screen.  Even as it draws visitors to the site, Love Letterswill thus establish a presence far beyond the physical boundaries of Times Square, blending the virtual and the real through new forms of public participation.  

www.formlessfinder.com        Click here to download PDF of proposal

Holler Architecture

holler 2013 valentine competition finalistnight rendering; image courtesy of Holler Architecture

holler 2013 valentine competition finalist bottom image  

Holler Architecture:  Heart Warming


We are proposing a 10-foot tall lighting sculpture as the center of the Times Square Valentine’s celebration. The sculpture consists of acrylic bands arranged into the shape of a heart, with interactively controlled edge-lighting providing a beat to the activity. 10 bicycles are radially aligned on a platform around the heart, and all lighting will be powered by nothing other than the visitor’s pedaling. The sculpture is illuminated, highly interactive, collaborative and a healthy experience. It celebrates biking in New York City, alternative modes of energy generation, and of course Valentine’s Day in Times Square.


www.hollerarchitecture.com          Click here to download PDF of proposal

Manifold Architecture Studio

Manifold Architecture Studio Valentine Heart Design 2013

Manifold Architecture Studio:  Happy Hearts NYC

It’s all about LOVE and the things that make you smile. It is about the moment to see and be seen. It is about sharing a simple, carefree occurrence at the ‘Crossroads of the World.

As a visitor to HAPPY HEARTS NYC, you can slide together with a friend, a loved one, or a family member and take a short accelerated trip through a heart in times square. it is not just a pretty object, it’s a spatial instance. It’s a heart shaped double slide to happiness because it brings a smile to your face. It’s a box because what’s better than a heart in a box? It’s a reflective surface because it emphasizes that you are moving within the heart of Times Square, a playful play on perspective. And best of all it is a sliding tunnel of love and happiness.  

A solid heart is set in a box clad with a reflective surface. When unlit on the interior, it will reflect. When lit (and the heart will light sequentially as you slide through), the skin becomes transparent, revealing the solid heart within.

Design Team: MAS + Amanda Morgan and Kate Rufe in collaboration with ARUP & Focus Lighting  

www.mani-fold.com      Click here to download PDF of proposal


RUX Design

Rux Valentine Heart Design 2013

RUX Design: Heatthrob

Hand pumps and seesaw pumps breathe life into a giant inflatable heart at the center of Times Square. Each push of a pump blows air into tubes that fill the balloon structure as well as generate a jolt of light that glows inside the heart. The balloon is designed to leak air at a controlled rate, requiring the work of many to keep it plump.

ruxdesign.net        Click here to download PDF of proposal

The Design Trust for Public Space

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.

Click here to return to Situ Studio: Heartwalk, the 2013 winner of annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design

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).