Bloom, a light-channeling, affection-evoking “buoyant cloudscape” to be realized in interconnected bundles of red and white PVC pipe, is the Times Square Arts’ winning installation of the 2022 Love in Times Square Design Competition.
Set to be publicly unveiled on February 9 in front of the Red Steps at Father Duffy Square between 46th and 47th Streets in Manhattan, this year’s impassioned pavilion was designed by Habitat Workshop, a Brooklyn-based architecture and urban design practice led by Jieun Yang. A mesmeric work of temporary architecture intended to celebrate the enduring strength of collective love, Bloom will remain on view until March 9. As with winning installations from years past, Bloom will serve as the backdrop to a flurry of tender—and very public—moments on Valentine’s Day including weddings, surprise proposals, and a mass vow renewal ceremony. Bloom is presented by Times Square Arts (the public art arm of nonprofit business improvement district the Times Square Alliance) in partnership with the Museum of Art and Design (MAD) and will be fabricated by IDEKO.
Described by Yang as an “offering of hope and a reminder that we must find vivacity amid the darkness,” Habitat Workshop’s winning Bloom was among five submitted design proposals in the running for the 2022 competition, which is now in its 14th year and was previously known as simply the Times Square Design Competition (and before that, the Times Square Valentine Heart Competition). Joining Habitat Workshop, the four other studios/designers invited to participate were: A+A+A, bioMATTERS Studio, Devang Arvind Shah, and Studio Fierro. The 2022 Love in Times Square Competition selection committee was comprised of Elissa Auther, deputy director and chief curator of MAD; Carson Chan, director of the Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and the Natural Environment at the Museum of Modern Art; Kendal Henry, assistant commissioner with the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; Architecture Research Office principal Kim Yao, and others.
“MAD is delighted to partner with Times Square Arts this year to support the installation of Habitat Workshop designer Jieun Yang’s Bloom,” said Auther in a statement. “Bloom’s matrix-like canopy and shifting patterns of light will offer the viewer a transportive experience amidst the hustle and bustle of Times Square.”
Bloom will take the form of a soaring nebular canopy consisting of bundles of red and white PVC bundled together to form “vaulted portals” that channel the shimmering, ever-shifting light of the Crossroads of the World. “The project invites everyone from multiple approaches to pass through the portal of thick clouds,” Yang explained to AN. “Once the material thins out at the peak of each inner vault inside the structure, warming rays of light greet each visitor and remind how moments of happiness can still exist in the shroud of darkness.”
“The array of pixelated heart patterns blooming from the center are less recognizable from the ground approach but crystallize when gazing up from the inside of the structure,” added Yang. “The varying thickness of the circular roof plane casts shadows that change direction and shape, and the surrounding billboards, buildings, and headlights cast a changing spectrum of colors at night. Bloom embodies this space between change and stasis, as represented by the relationship between fixed structure and its multiple readings. It serves as a reminder for grounding love that can provide room for growth.”
In addition to sharing Habitat Workshop’s winning installation, Times Square Arts has also shared further details for lovebirds looking to pop the big question, get hitched, or participate in the group vow renewal ceremony at Bloom on Valentine’s Day. AN will share photos of the pavilion once it opens on February 9.