TKTS Booth / Perkins Eastman, Choi Ropiha

Concept Design: Choi Ropiha
Design Development & Executive Architects: Perkins Eastman
Location: , USA
Project Year: 2008
Principal material:
Footprint Area: 79 sqm
Stairs Area: 200 sqm
Photographs: Copyright Paúl Rivera/ArchPhoto

The new TKTS Booth, designed by top international architecture and design firm Perkins Eastman, responds to its location a top Father Duffy Square, a slender triangular-shaped public park in Times Square. The TKTS Booth is a combination of structural integrity and innovative design made possible with the latest advances in glass technology and the collective knowledge of the world’s leading industry experts. The new TKTS Booth is the most complex and sophisticated glass structure ever created-a show-stopping urban sculpture of iconic proportions and forward-thinking ingenuity. The firm’s network of 13 international and domestic offices provided the global expertise needed to create an elegant solution to one of the most complex design challenges inspired by the winner of the international ideas competition, Australian-based architectural firm Choi Ropiha.

As the largest architectural firm in New York, Perkins Eastman welcomed the opportunity to provide a New York City landmark institution with an iconic and permanent home. The new Booth, a discount outlet for same-day tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, is divided into two independent portions: the glass shell and structural supports, and the booth itself. While the structure evokes a delicate elegance, the complexity of the design and construction is awe-inspiring. Navigating construction amidst the congestion synonymous with Times Square is a logistical nightmare. To ease any potential impact on the project, and to expedite construction, the mechanical system, and the body of the both were prefabricated, skid mounted, and dropped into position in a matter of hours A geothermal system of five wells located 450 feet below Times Square, delivers a solution of chilled or heated water/glycol to radiant panels as well as supports the air-handling unit for the interior of the structure. The air handling system includes high efficiency filtration to improve indoor air quality for the occupants in the ticket booth and maintain a clean interior by reducing dust accumulation on the interior surfaces.

Triple-laminated heat-strengthened glass treads fabricated in Austria are illuminated by red LED lights housed below the treads. The treads are staggered and span several stringers thus providing lateral bracing for the structure. The red glass risers are removable for service access to the lights. The steps terminate in a large cantilevered canopy that protects the ticket buyers. 25 glass stringers, 28 feet long, span between glass load-bearing walls. The stringer beams comprise three double-laminated sections that are arranged on a “splice staggered” principle to maximize strength and transparency, thus minimizing the stainless steel connections. The mid-wall and north walls are constructed of 2″ inch thick glass panels. The north wall panels are more than 16′ tall and 6′ 10″ wide. Light-emitting diodes (LEDS) illuminate the structure from within and shroud the structure in a shimmering, floating carpet of color and light.

Perkins Eastman’s design was inspired by the winner of an international ideas competition, Australian-based architectural firm Choi Ropiha. The design and construction team members also include: Dewhurst Macfarlane and Partners; Schaefer Lewis Engineers; DMJM Harris; D. Haller, Inc.; iG Innovation Glass; David Shuldiner, Inc.; and Merrifield-Roberts. New York-based Williams Fellows Architects designed the plaza.

Cite: "TKTS Booth / Perkins Eastman, Choi Ropiha" 01 Dec 2008. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • Benjamin

    inner city rubbish architecture… hardly worth celebrating

    • Tuf-Pak

      How wrong I believe you are. This thing is a pretty inspired response to the program, and appropriate for its context. It’s a piece of urban furniture, hardly rubbish.

  • Ayth1

    Hardly, any time you can create a space that allows for interaction in the middle of the busiest part of one of the world’s most populous cities I wouldn’t call it rubbish. Please explain though.

  • Des

    A wonderful concept from Choi Ropiha well executed by Perkins Eastman

  • David Basulto

    This is the kind of project that not only satisfies the needs of the client, but also thinks on the rest of the people living in (or visiting) the city.

  • Hamster

    Yeah, I like it. Nice place to watch the crowd…

  • Amanda

    i know a Des Smith comment when I see it. How are you Des?

  • Art. H

    This is so amazing/beautiful, I do not know why someone would call something rubbish. Whats really rubbish is leaving rubbish comments… anywho…

    I love it when they do something in the city, just for a change on the scenery. All I know is that rubbish or not I gotta stop by times sq and check it out :)

    I wonder how much $ something like that would cost, I mean after all it is located “in the middle of the busiest part of one of the world’s most populous cities” (Ayth1).

  • Max

    The only “rubbish” i see is the Windows add on the pictures ^^

    I like it a lot. Great job !!

  • Ricardo Valdez

    Looks great for me! Love the idea of making it a bleacher like platform, it must feel pretty cool to sit up there. Would you guys mind saying what program you used to make the working plans? Was it auto desk or vectorworks?

  • Vico

    As far as I understand it, the competition winning design was by Choi Ropiha, and this article greatly overstates the design contribution made by Perkins Eastman.

  • Troy

    Ricardo, the plans have been produced in AutoCAD with the usual Photo Shop / VIZ and Illustrator to do the colouring. The glass stainless steel components were fabricated using CAD/CAM from an Autodesk Inventor model.

  • Jason

    Thought I remembered seeing this design in Arch. Record like 10 years ago? They just now finished it?

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  • Contemporary Art

    It’s definitely a smart design. Times Square is such a specific place to design for. In a way it’s like the little Japanese house on the cliff; this doesn’t belong anywhere other than the site it was designed for.

  • matt / scale

    This is a really important “public” contribution to a part of the city where every square inch is normally given over to advertising and commercialism.

    Well done to all involved + esp to the competition winning architects Choi Ropiha…. the only architects i know who can go surfing at lunch time and still win international competitions.

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  • biggiefries

    I wonder where the long daily line up goes? and any shade for those poor souls who want discount tickets?? The tickets windows seem quite close to the adjacent road. Anyone wants to elaborate how the ticket sale actually works when there are hundreds of people lining up before tickets sale at 2pm I believe….

  • Nick Roach

    It’s an amazing engineering feat – one of the largest structures in the world to be completely structurally supported by load bearing glass (the glass also braces the structure). Bit of a shame the execution has a few loose ends, but overall – the people love it. the stairway to no-where they call it. Bloody excessive cost however for what it is (that’s what happens though when you have so many stakeholders wrangling the thing in different directions).

  • holladay

    pretty decent for an american commission

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  • ayse busra
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    We'd get serious exposure if we could get our stickers on the stairs to no where above the TKTS Booth in NYC

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