Times Square to get new design and infrastructure


July 8, 2010 12:27:08 PM PDT
Times Square is set to get a new look. According to New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, work has already begun on temporary design project to refresh the look of the pedestrian plazas.

According to Sadik-Khan and City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner David J. Burney, the internationally recognized architecture firm Snohetta, will be leading a team to permanently redesign the area and update the infrastructure. Snohetta is best known for its work on the National September 11 Memorial Museum in Manhattan and the library in Alexandria, Egypt.

To redesign the pedestrian plazas, a design competition was held. The winner was New York City artist Molly Dilworth's "Cool Water, Hot Island." Dilworth is best known for her rooftop paintings. The design is blue and based on NASA infrared satellite data of Manhattan. It is supposed to resemble a river flowing through the center of Times to contrast the area's marquees and billboards.

Besides being visually appealing, the redesigned pedestrian areas are supposed to be a cool place to sit. The blue and light areas of the design are supposed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat that the present red-ish color.

The design is set to be installed by early August.

The Times Square Alliance will maintain the temporary pedestrian area design while the city settles the permanent redesign plan.

The permanent redesign plan team includes many New York City-based designers, engineers and event infrastructure specialists. The redesign is set to begin in 2012.

The team's goal is to improve the atmosphere for bicyclists and pedestrians, while bettering the transportation flow, according to Craig Dykers, co-founder of Snohetta and New York office director.

The redesign will include the pedestrian areas, the roadbed under Broadway and Seventh Avenue between West 42nd and 47th streets, and sewers and water mains, as necessary.

Times Square currently has no permanent electrical, sound or broadcasting infrastructure, despite being used for large scale events and celebrations. The redesign will enhance Times Square's event capabilities.

For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/dot