Luckily for lovebirds and cynics alike, Times Square’s gleaming new Valentine’s Day-themed pavilion invites all kinds of reflection. Unveiled today and on view through March 6, Collective-LOK’s Heart of Hearts consists of a dozen faceted hearts, each ten feet tall and gold-tinted, arranged in a circle to form a kaleidoscopic enclave. The installation, which the designers call “an engagement ring for our love affair with the spectacle of Times Square,” stands resolutely amid its flashy surroundings, both amplifying and recalibrating the bustle of Times Square. The hearts are angled to form six smaller, diamond-shaped nooks, aptly deemed “kissing booths.”
Heart of Hearts won this year’s Times Square Valentine Heart Design competition, organized by Times Square Arts and curated by the Center for Architecture. This is the ninth year of the competition. Last year, Brooklyn-based Stereotank designed a heart-shaped musical sculpture. Collective-LOK is an architectural collaboration formed by Jon Lott, principal of PARA Project (Design Vanguard, 2013); William O’Brien, Jr., principal of WOJR (also a Design Vanguard winner that year); and Michael Kubo, co-director of pinkcomma gallery in Boston and a collaborator in over,under. The team wore tinted, heart-shaped sunglasses to celebrate the installation’s opening.