Design form Snøhetta has been tasked with improving the site for both locals and tourists

Design firm Snøhetta was chosen by the New York City Department of Design and Construction and the New York City Department of Transportation in 2010 to lead the design of new public spaces in Times Square. In the years since the redesigned times square has become more welcoming for pedestrians, with a multi-functional 2.5 acre public space framed by benches for relaxing.

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The project site, called the ‘Bowtie’, forms the heart of the Times Square theater district. Snøhetta’s design was inspired by Times Square’s past and its entertainment history. The signature buildings and signs create an outdoor room in the heart of Manhattan, with uncluttered pedestrian zones and a cohesive layout from one building to the next, reinforcing the Bowtie’s role as an outdoor stage.

The simple ground surface made of pre-cast concrete pavers create a strong anchor for the space that allows the excitement of Times Square’s commercial components to shine more brightly. These two-toned custom pavers are embedded with nickel-sized steel discs to capture the neon glow from the signs above and scatter it across the ground. As well as simplifying the surface by consolidating both moveable and permanent sidewalk and street elements, Snøhetta’s redesign addresses practical issues such as drainage, maintenance, and programmatic flexibility.

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Ten granite benches have been placed along Broadway to frame the area’s public plazas, acting as magnets for visitors, creating an infrastructural spine for events, and providing a clear orientation device for both locals and tourists.

Snøhetta’s founding partner, Craig Dykers, said on the firm’s project page:

“Our goal is to improve the quality and atmosphere of this historic site for tourists and locals, pedestrians and bicyclists, while reducing the traffic impediments so the ‘Crossroads of the World’ will retain its edge while refining its floor.”

Snøhetta

Design firm Snøhetta was chosen by the New York City Department of Design and Construction and the New York City Department of Transportation in 2010 to lead the design of new public spaces in Times Square. In the years since the redesigned times square has become more welcoming for pedestrians, with a multi-functional 2.5 acre public space framed by benches for relaxing.

The project site, called the ‘Bowtie’, forms the heart of the Times Square theater district. Snøhetta’s design was inspired by Times Square’s past and its entertainment history. The signature buildings and signs create an outdoor room in the heart of Manhattan, with uncluttered pedestrian zones and a cohesive layout from one building to the next, reinforcing the Bowtie’s role as an outdoor stage.