Extending an Iconic Public Space
Times Square’s “bowtie” (Broadway between 42nd and 47th) has been reinvented in recent years — transformed into a successful, world-class public space. Studio RHLA saw an opportunity to extend the innovation even further. With input from the Times Square Alliance, we explored temporary placemaking concepts for three blocks of Broadway that would extend the excitement northward towards Central Park. Our design suggests distinct activity zones offering a diversity of playful spaces. The zones progress from active areas at the south end near the bowtie to places of relaxation in the north. Movable street furniture creates a flexible “kit of parts” for gathering. Masses of native plantings offer areas for respite and storm water collection. The spaces and objects create point-to-point visual cues to draw people along Broadway, extending the red color theme central to Times Square’s identity. The concept balances spaces for pedestrians, bicycles, and vehicle loading with parklets, art installations, and playful elements — creating an inviting interactive street experience.
Year of Completion –2016