We just found exciting news from Bustler that the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta recently won the Times Square Reconstruction Project in New York City. Times Square is the epitome of a chaotic New York block, with signs, noise and tons of people and taxis. The area currently has a public space which was deemed traffic free, yet now the city is looking to make the space more permanent and Snohetta will be heading the project.
More about the project after the break.
In order to improve safety between 47th Street and 42nd Street along the lengths of both 7th Avenue and Broadway, the NYC Department of Transportation launched a project entitled “Green Light for Midtown.” The idea was to close Broadway to vehicular traffic, creating a new public space in truly the heart of the city. A few summers back, New Yorkers were stumped to see simple outdoor tables and chairs scattered across what was once a highly trafficked intersection. People casually rested on lawn chairs, flipping through magazines and sipping coffee, in what used to be a super dense traffic zone.
Yet, this new public space stuck, and now the city is looking to make the space permanent. Snøhetta’s winning design, which will be constructed in 2012, is intended to “improve the quality and atmosphere of this historic site for tourists and locals, pedestrians and bicyclists, while reducing the traffic impediments so the “center of the universe” will retain its edge while refining its floor,” explained Craig Dykers, Snøhetta’s co‐founder.
In the meantime, New York City’s Department of Transportation and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City held a design competition for temporary installations to “refresh and revive the streetscape.” While Snøhetta’s design is in developing stages, Times Sqaure will be graced by artist Molly Dilworth’s “Cool Water, Hot Island” artwork.
Snøhetta is helped by a strong team including WxY architecture + urban design, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, BILLINGS JACKSON DESIGN, Leni Schwendinger Light Projects LTD, Pure + Applied, Weidlinger, Buro Happold, BEXEL, Wesler Cohen, and Ducibella Venter and Santore.