Times Square’s 2014 Valentine’s Day Heart Plays Match-Maker

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Match-Maker, Young Projects

Architecture is not generally designed to help people find love, but Times Square’s Valentine’s Day installation plans to change that.

Times Square Arts and the Van Alen Institute have announced that Young Projects, a multidisciplinary design firm based in Brooklyn is the 2014 winner of the annual Times Square Valentine Heart Competition.

Unveiled last week, Young Projects’ Match-Maker is an interactive installation that aims to cosmically connect prospective lovers via a design inspired by the zodiac.

Love Inspired by the Zodiac

Love inspired by the zodiac

“Guided by their zodiac signs, visitors arrange themselves at 12 viewing points around the heart-shaped sculpture,” said Brian Young, principal of Young Projects. “Peering through colourful, interwoven periscopes provides glimpses of each viewer’s four most ideas astrological mates, offering potentially novel connection between lonely souls or settled lovers.”

Young Projects collaborated with Kammetal, who helped create the structure, which is fabricated from 12 powdered coated aluminium tubes in order to withstand challenging weather elements. An additional 24 unique ellipses have been used for the reflective mirror at the joint of the periscope, with each tube suspended with a series of powered coated brackets that are supported by a single steel column.

Each tube is a different hue and length, and the tubes intertwine to create a perfectly shaped heart when viewed from the right angle.

12 Periscopes make up structure

12 periscopes make up the structure

Match-Maker marks the sixth year of the Time Square Valentine's Day competition, which invites emerging architecture and design firms to vie for the chance to build a love-inspired installation in front of Times Square’s iconic red steps at the city’s Father Duffy Square between 46th and 47th street.

Match-Maker’s combination of striking aesthetics and romantic overtones impressed the elite judging panel of architects, artists and curators.

David van der Leer, executive director of the Van Alen Institute, said his organisation was “thrilled that this year’s heart is not only for couples; it also celebrates all the singles in New York City.”

“From a pool of excellent proposals, Young Projects’ 'Match-Maker' stood out as an intriguing design that uses signs of the zodiac to generate a compelling installation in the heart of Times Square,” noted jury member Stephen Cassell, a principal at Architecture Research Office.

Powder Coated Aliminum Tubes, Fabricated by Kammetal

Powder coated aluminum tubes, fabricated by Kammetal

Match Maker is expected to have New Yorker’s hearts skipping a beat this Valentines Day.

Last year’s installation was a little more reflective, touching on the destruction left behind from Hurricane Sandy. That award was given to Situ Studio, who unveiled Heartwalk – an illuminated heart that was shaped as a “room within a city.”

The installation was made of wooden planks salvaged from New York and New Jersey boardwalks that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Situ Studio said Heartwalk was inspired by the “collective experience of Hurricane Sandy and the love that binds people together during trying times.”

Heartwalk Installation


All installations chosen create a romantic photographic backdrop while also celebrating public art in the city. Match-Maker is expected to move to DUMBO (Down Under The Manhattan Bridge Overpass) following Valentine's Day.

This year, visitors are encouraged to share their photos and ignite the conversation via Twitter using #LoveTimesSquare.


Angela is an architecture and design writer with a niche focus on the commercial sector. Captivated by her travels and family history in urban construction, Angela is also a skyscraper enthusiast providing credible industry coverage on the evolving vertical realm.

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