Times Square renovation officially opens

The Snøhetta-designed project nearly doubles the size of public space at one of the most visited attractions in the U.S.

April 20, 2017 |

Image courtesy of Snøhetta

In 2009, a temporary project known as “Green Light for Midtown” used paving and street furniture to close Broadway to vehicular traffic between 42nd and 47th Streets. The goal was to improve safety and alleviate traffic conditions at a site that sees over 40,000,000 annual visitors. The project was a huge success and led the New York City Department of Transportation to begin a project to permanently close the section of Times Square to cars.

Snøhetta’s proposal won the competition to redesign Times Square and work began soon after. The project redefines Times Square by upgrading crucial utility infrastructure, providing event infrastructure for new and expanded public events; and making permanent the temporary improvements the city piloted in 2009. The result of this commission is a Times Square that has almost twice as much public space as it did before.

The design creates open pedestrian zones and a cohesive surface from one building to the next. The new surface material for the ground is made of two-toned pre-cast concrete pavers embedded with nickel-sized steel discs to capture the neon glow from signs and scatter it across the paving surface.

Ten granite benches were added along Broadway. The benches frame the public plazas and create an infrastructural spine for events. They also help with wayfinding and provide an orientation device for pedestrians.

The final, completed project officially opened on April 19.

 

Image courtesy of Snøhetta.

 

Image courtesy of Snøhetta.

 

Image courtesy of Snøhetta.

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