For the past eight years, Times Square Arts, a New York–based public arts program within the Times Square Alliance, has put out an open call for architecture and design firms to submit proposals for a romantic public art installation. Curated by New York’s Center for Architecture, the piece is placed at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th Streets, within the city’s iconic intersection.
This year, the organization selected Collective-LOK (CLOK) to design the installation. The winning group is an architectural collaboration formed by Jon Lott, AIA, principal of PARA Project and design critic at Harvard Graduate School of Design; William O'Brien Jr., principal of Cambridge, Mass.–based WOJR: Organization for Architecture and associate professor of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Michael Kubo, co-director of pinkcomma gallery in Boston.
The group's design, "Heart of Hearts," consists of nine constructions made of angled, heart-shaped mirrors facing each other to form private nooks in which visitors can step into. Within each construction is an open, diamond-shaped space that serves as a “kissing booth” where couples can show their affection while physically separated from the crowds, but also be on display for the public through the transparent façades. While looking at the reflective gold glass, the bright lights and bustling activity of Midtown Manhattan are enhanced. This specific installation surpasses all previous finalists in height at 10 feet. The project will be unveiled on Feb. 9, and stand until March 6.
Previous winners include Stereotank (2015); Young Projects (2014); Situ Studio (2013); BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) (2012); Freecell (2011); Moorhead & Moorhead (2010); and Gage/Clemenceau Architects (2009).