Rendering: Situ Studio 

In 2013, the Times Square Alliance invited the Design Trust for Public Space to select eight firms to design an interactive, heart-themed public space intervention to engage the nearly 500,000 daily visitors to Times Square.  

Over the last five years, Times Square Alliance has invited architecture and design firms to submit proposals for the Times Square Valentine—a romantic public art installation celebrating Valentine’s Day in Times Square. 

Heartwalk by Brooklyn based Situ Studio was selected as the winning design by a jury curated by the Design Trust. Situ Studio took inspiration from the collective experience of Hurricane Sandy and the love that binds people together during trying times. Whether it was the radically reconfigured landscapes, the compromised infrastructural networks, or the temporary solutions that emerged in the days and weeks that followed, Hurricane Sandy confronted all affected by transforming the familiar. 

Using boardwalk boards salvaged from Sandy’s aftermath from New York and New Jersey, Heartwalk begins as two ribbons of wooden planks that fluidly lift from the ground to form a heart shaped enclosure in the middle of Duffy Square. The slatted construction, illuminated from within, provides varied views of the interior as visitors move around the perimeter of the installation.

Heartwalk was installed in Times Square from February 12 to March 3, 2013. The Design Trust worked with Situ Studio to share Heartwalk with other communities affected by Sandy. Throughout 2013, the installation traveled to DUMBO, Brooklyn, Rockaway Beach, Queens. Heartwalk is now permanently installed in Atlantic City, New Jersey. 

Heartwalk Selection Jury

  • Barry Bergdoll, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art
  • Susan Chin, FAIA, Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space
  • Emily Colasacco, Manager, Urban Design & Art, NYC Department of Transportation. 
  • Sherry Dobbin, Director of Public Art, Times Square Alliance
  • Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Director of Queens Museum of Art
  • Rosamond Fletcher, Director of Programs, Design Trust for Public Space
  • Jennifer Lantzas, Public Art Coordinator, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
  • Sara Reisman, Director of Percent for Art, Department of Cultural Affairs

2013 Times Square Valentine Heart Finalists

  • Abrahams May Architects
  • Abruzzo Bodziak Architects
  • HOLLER Architecture
  • Manifold Architecture Studio
  • RUX Design

Times Square is one of the world's greatest public spaces. The concepts for the Valentine presented by these emerging practices ranged from imaginative and playful to interactive and sustainable. Situ's proposal created a special place where people can connect with each other in the heart of the city.

Susan Chin, 2013