Times Square’s new pedestrian-friendly design will literally lift tourists in the air
Snohetta's design for Times Square involves leveling out the curb and street for a single pedestrian platform. / Snohetta
Tourists and locals alike will notice the change when Times Square finally completes its four-year renovation this summer, but can a Euro-style pedestrian area really change the logjam that is one of the world’s busiest tourist attractions?
Excerpt from NYU Local
An innovative Norwegian architecture firm, Snøhetta, has noticed our disregard for our most iconic landmark and has been rewarded for its insight. The firm has been commissioned to “renovate” Times Square in a project that will begin construction this summer. Their re-design is aimed at tickling locals’ disinterest while addressing the many problems of aesthetics and congestion that plague the 10 blocks x 2 hellish Avenues in the heart of Midtown.
The plan for the ground level of Times Square involves leveling out the curb and the street so that the entire “bow-tie” is in a single plane. 50 x 5 ft. granite benches will break up the pedestrian traffic along the then-ubiquitous sidewalk. The ground level would try achieve a certain sobriety in its monochrome-grey palette that works as a balance against the chaos of lights above.