Addition through Subtraction

Times Square in New York, New York, USA Gets a Makeover

 
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Times Square is ready for bigger crowds. An eight-year, US$55 million renovation project wrapped up in April, doubling pedestrian space in the famed New York, New York, USA intersection. The hot spot, which attracts about 45 million annual visitors, was overdue for a makeover. “Although Times Square has remained popular over the years, its popularity … had made it somewhat unsafe, polluted and sometimes uninviting,” Craig Dykers, founding partner of Snøhetta, the architecture firm that executed the renovation, said at the reopening ceremony, according to Dezeen.

To make the square more pedestrian-centric, the project team removed car thoroughfares: An additional 140,000 square feet (13,000 square meters) of pedestrian-only space were added in all. Ten granite benches 30 to 50 feet (9 to 15 meters) long were installed to create a more communal environment. Snøhetta also removed or consolidated pedestrian-barriers, such as curbs, traffic signals and trash cans to make the site more walker-friendly.

“One of the things we realized very quickly was that fixing Times Square was less about adding things, and more about taking things away,” Mr. Dykers said. “There was a great deal of obsolete and redundant infrastructure here when we started.” —Jessica Boden

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“Fixing Times Square was less about adding things, and more about taking things away.”

—Craig Dykers, Snøhetta

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