Today is Valentine’s Day, and what better place to celebrate than Times Square? (If you’re already doubting my taste and/or sanity, suspend your cynicism for a moment, enjoy this placating 💖 emoji, and read on.)
Each year, the Times Square Alliance invites emerging New York architects to deliver a heart-themed installation to the Crossroads of the World, and this year, its competition jury selected New York– and Tucson, Arizona–based Aranda\Lasch + Marcelo Coelho (head of design at Formlabs) to design Window to the Heart, a piece that doubles as the world’s largest Fresnel lens and provides a nice public place to make googly eyes at your boo.
Working with 3-D printing manufacturer Formlabs, Aranda\Lasch and Coelho printed each segment of the 12-foot-wide lens using clear resin in lieu of glass. The lens bends the light emanating from billboards and signage to give visitors an ideal selfie sphere, or a place to pick gunk from your teeth before smooching your paramour. According to the Times Square Alliance, which is throwing a fête at the installation today, three couples are using the space as a wedding venue, and three more are planning to propose to their partners.
In honor of the heart-fest, AN Products Editor Gabrielle Golenda swooped into Times Square to talk Valentine’s Day with couples standing near Window to the Heart:
“I think it’s beautiful,” Landish said. She is clutching a resin panel that was printed onsite by Formlabs:
The couple—who got engaged yesterday—said they plan to frame it along with a picture of themselves and hang it in their home. Cute!
Planning a visit? The installation will be up near the TKTS booth at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th Streets, through the end of the month. More information on Window to the Heart can be found on Times Square Arts’ website.