For the past several years, as millions of tourists and visitors have braved the city’s cold February weather, Times Square has shown off its Valentines Day spirit with a new sculpture placed in Father Duffy Square every February, each different and unique from the year before. Last week, Suchi Reddy of Reddymade was chosen as the winner of the 2019 Times Square Valentine Heart Design, and will have her sculpture, titled “X,” constructed and displayed at the plaza and crossroads of the world. This is part of a collaboration between the Times Square Arts organization and AIA New York, and was announced at the Center for Architecture on Monday, October 15, with the winning sculpture chosen out of eight finalists.
This will be the largest and tallest sculpture in the 11-year history of this annual competition. It will be unveiled and open to the public on February 1, 2019 at 11:00am and stay until February 28, 2019. Succhi Reddy commented on her project and Reddymade by saying:
“I founded Reddymade as a diverse architecture and design practice, with a human-centric approach. In a time of rising xenophobia and division in communities, I was inspired by the thoughtful brief to make an installation that is not only beautiful but is relevant to its context and communicates a message. Exploring the idea of community as a place of intersection led me to the tectonic expression of ‘X,’ which fit the context of Times Square, one of the most thriving intersections in the world of people, place and culture.”
Benjamin Prosky, Executive Director of AIA New York / Center for Architecture, had this to say:
“We are excited to collaborate with Times Square Alliance to recognize design talent via the annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition. As a new addition to the program, this year we are pleased to showcase the eight design firms and their proposals during a public event and subsequent exhibition at the Center for Architecture. We look forward to the unveiling of Reddymade’s ‘X,’ and congratulate all the participants for their creative approaches.”
The concept of the structure is to evoke a sense of connection and overlap, something appropriately fitting in the cultural context of Times Square and the convergence of millions of people from around the world. Anyone will soon be able to explore and walk underneath the two 18-foot intersecting aluminum planes that make up “X”.
Two bisecting circular openings are also found in the center of each plane, and forms a heart-shaped void in the interstitial space when looking at the “X” from the right angle and perspective.
At night, the sculpture will illuminate and become brighter as more and more people start to walk closer to it, thanks to a system of sensors that monitors the motion and number of people around the “X.” This movement of light and interaction symbolizes the power of connection and bringing people together . These are subtle yet powerful gestures that Suchi wanted to invoke with her winning project scheme that will soon rise from the plaza in the coming months after New Year’s Eve. The sculpture will stand along West 46th Street, between 7th Avenue and the northern Broadway pedestrian plaza in front of American Eagle Outfitters and Father Duffy’s memorial statue.