This Valentine’s Day, the Times Square Alliance will host a celebration of love and romance during a large vow renewal ceremony on the iconic Red Steps in Times Square on Thursday, February 14th, at 6:00 PM. The ceremony is free and open to people of all ages, genders, religions, races, and backgrounds.
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As the vow renewal concludes, official Times Square confetti will flutter around the participants.
As the lovebirds renew their vows, they will overlook the winner of this year’s annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition: “X” by Reddymade, founded by Suchi Reddy – an 18 foot tall structure (the largest and tallest winning design ever selected for this competition) made with two intersecting aluminum planes, creating a passageway and meeting place. Rounded openings at the crossing of the planes combine to form heart shapes when viewed from different angles.
Reddymade’s winning proposal symbolizes several thematic concepts that drew the jury to choose it. “One of the things we’ve learned over the years about public art in Times Square is that ideally it should operate on many different levels and have a multitude of meanings,” Tim Tompkins said. “X alludes to Times Square as an X-shaped intersection. It’s also the symbol of a kiss and a nod to the neighborhood’s XXX history. Most relevant today, it’s the mark we make to vote, representing democracy and freedom of choice for the individual.”
Suchi Reddy, founder and principal of Reddymade, said the focus on justice, diversity, and equality has been top of mind for her firm for several years, so the competition brief spoke to her in particular. “I think this was a really intelligent brief and we wanted to create a tectonic expression that inherently responded to something,” she said. “We love the idea of form following feeling, so we felt very strongly about creating a space people could inhabit and bring their energy to.”
As more people gather, a glowing light will illuminate from the structure, growing brighter as an expression of the power of community and love.
Reddymade’s winning proposal, along with the other invited finalists—Agency Agency, Buro Koray Duman, Isometric Studio, N H D M, Only If Architecture, Splice Design, and STUDIO 397—will be on view at the Center for Architecture through November 2. This is the competition’s first ever exhibition, further democratizing the public engagement process and shining a light on the other design teams and their vision for Times Square.
“There’s always a real struggle in picking out a winning design,” said Tompkins. “We recognize many firms spend time submitting proposals in competitions like this even though they’re invited, so one of the ways they get a return on that investment is having their great work be seen in a space like this.”
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