If you have been to Times Sqaure at any time in the past few years, you would have noticed the re-arranged vehicle traffic patters, the larger pedestrian walking zones, the initially colorful and later filthy painted ground-plane, the abundance of loose street furniture and bikeways. That was one gigantic experiment...and it worked. Now, the design has been released for the permanent reimagination of Times Square.  

 

No green....whatsoever. I know trees would be out of place here and destroy the views. But no shrubberies, no lawn space...not even a stinkin planter. In a place so bright, so modern, and so colorful, I would have expected some of the same in the choice of furniture and hardscaping. Even the old trick of using color or texture to define use spaces or circulation routes seems absent. Nothing! Just fields of grey. I can only image the glare here. At least they have LAs working on this..

 

Rendering of Times Square 's redesign. Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2013 and end in 2014.

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/09/28/2011-09-28_multimill...

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No comments after a whole day?  Guess most LAs here aren't into this.  This firm must be doing something right.  They also have a major commision at the World Trade Center site...whatever they're calling it now...and they are hiring.  They have an ad on archinect.  Yet something tells me they will only consider Ivy League or European grads who wear black turtlenecks and have shaved heads.

Didn't expect many. It is more of an FYI than anything else. With the hostilites on here recently, I'm staying away from anything "controversial".

 

I already have a few black turtlenecks (they come in handy) and really black tiny half-framed 'advertisers' glasses, so maybe I'll apply. Too bad they aren't in DC though.  

The designers took a "less is more" approach, and it can work here. With so many people flooding Times Square daily and especially on New Years Eve, a clutter-free design is appropriate. With that said, the extra space can be useful for temporary art installations and events. You can criticize them for not adding anything, but the space is about the gathering of many people, the billboards on the buildings, and potential opportunities for product brand events and art installations... not so much about making a landscape design statement or making pleasant intimate spaces (Times Square will suck no matter how many trees or plants you put). So I think it will be okay to have a field of grey here.

I would have found space for 3-4 burr oaks, making sure they had enough growing medium and protection to survive.  In 40 years, they would make an awesome space.
I think all of that could have been accomplished with a bit more design flair. I agree that trees would be out of place, but the lack of any green or pavement variation is just a blank slate. It will be terribly uncomfortable the 364 days that there is no New Years Eve party there. Much of what I had previously suggested could hav been accomplished with movable planters or furniture, or even the ability to cover some of it temporarily for the few days of the year when more hardscape is needed. The improvements would also aid in pedestrian traffic flow by defining boundaries between movement space and usable space. Kind of like a more permanent version of what is already there which is currently defined by the curblines and painted asphalt. Just more subtle.
Sure, movable planters should do the trick. The designers kept it open, so anything can happen.

Fran Lebowitz, notorious writer and social critic,  moved away from Times Square recently with some caustic comments about commercialization..But she may have been more influenced by the smoking ban..

 

Leave it alone, I love the stench of it as is!

 

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