Design is an intrinsic part of Times Square, from landmarked theaters to dazzling retail spaces and groundbreaking graphics on digital signs, and even to the very paving stones or red glass steps beneath our feet.

The construction of Duffy Square, the Red Steps, and the Broadway Plazas set a new standard for Times Square’s public spaces. They reflect both our belief in the power of design to transform the public space experience and the primacy of pedestrians in the life of great urban places. Through new experiments with public space furniture, public art, and partnerships with organizations that promote and celebrate design, the Times Square Alliance continues to work to make Times Square a platform for innovative design around the world. Keep reading to see some of our projects and partnerships over the last several years.

The Red Steps and TKTS Booth

In 1999, the Theatre Development Fund, the NYC 2000 Millennium Committee, and the Van Alen Institute held an open call to design a new TKTS booth. The winning concept by Choi Ropiha turned the booth not just into a venue to buy tickets but a gathering place where visitors could sit on a vibrant red glass staircase and watch the theater of public life. The new TKTS booth and Red Steps, designed by Perkins Eastman based on the original concept, were unveiled on October 16, 2008.

Transforming the Plazas

After the City permanently pedestrianized Broadway between 42nd and 47th Streets, the next step was a redesign that would fully convert those blocks into beautiful plazas and create more space for pedestrians and events. Snøhetta's design, made in collaboration with the Alliance and the NYC DOT, included long, sleek stone benches and paving stones that reflect the constant lights of Times Square. The Times Square Transformation reconstruction began in 2012 and was completed in December 2016.

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TSq Design Lab

Times Square Design Lab (TSqDL) is a design initiative that brings new ideas for public space onto the Broadway Plazas. TSqDL debuted in 2018 during the celebration of NYCxDESIGN, bringing solutions for seating, signage, storage, and more — many of which have remained permanently on the plazas since their debut, and some which have gone into commercial production. The heavily-trafficked plazas are an ideal testing ground for new public space furniture, which can be altered and improved to improve visitor and pedestrian experiences.

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NYCxDESIGN and Design Pavilion

Since 2017, Times Square has hosted Design Pavilion — the public hub of NYCxDESIGN, the annual celebration of design and innovation. Design Pavilion has featured days of Design Talks and showcased the work of leading designers, architects, and artists throughout the plazas with exhibits like the Chairousel, solar-powered charging benches, smart and self-sustainable homes, and more.

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Valentine Heart Design Competition

Beginning with the first ever Times Square Valentine Heart in 2009, Gage/Clemenceau Architects' "Valentine to Times Square," Times Square Arts has invited architecture and design firms to submit proposals for a public art installation celebrating Love in Times Square in February. Since then, Times Square has hosted hearts made of latticed metal, ice, fabric, immigration data, and boardwalk wood salvaged from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy; hearts that have moved, glowed, made noise, and reflected on what binds us together in the city; the world's largest lens; and a heart that stretched up 18 feet into the air.

2020 Valentine Heart

XXX Times Square With Love

Designed by J.MAYER.H and originally inspired by the "X"-like intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue that forms Times Square, these bright pink loungers were the first specially-commissioned ongoing street furniture for the new Times Square plazas. Each “X” of XXX TIMES SQUARE WITH LOVE accommodate up to four people, with each leg of the “X” serving as an almost-horizontal lounger that allow people to lie down and enjoy a totally different – and more leisurely – perspective than the bustling plazas of Times Square.

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Plaza Furniture

Moveable and temporary street furniture is a critical element of any streetscape. From the infamous lawn chairs that marked the first, temporary pedestrianization of Broadway, to the red folding tables and chairs that proliferated across the new Broadway Plazas, to the heavier wood and metal Vestre tables, chairs, and multi-level benches that were introduced as the plaza reconstruction finished, to experiments like the Design Lab and XXX, we strive to find and provide furniture that adds to the visitor experience.