Times Square: Dimensions
Through the re-design pedestrians win a lot of space to walk, sit and communicate. Looking closer it also creates a sequence of five plazas that brings a new human dimension to Times Square.
Although it is a general design for the whole square the quality and character of the plazas depend on the existing spatial conditions of every single part of the sequence. The design is quite minimal – as shown in the pictures before - but it has a huge impact on the perception of Times Square, caused by an intense dialogue between the new design and the existing layers of space.
(1) Times Square probably is the most famous of the squares, which came into existence through the overlapping of the New York City grid and the historically evolved Broadway between 14th and 59th Streets. Union Square, Madison Square, Herald Square, Times Square and Columbus Circle mark an exceptional spatial situation within the monotony of the city’s street grid.
(2) The intersection of 7th Avenue and Broadway in Midtown between 42nd and 47th Street has a long tradition of show, theatre, glamour and lights which creates a very particular space that is shining far beyond its physical borders and attracting millions of people every day to come to Times Square.
The final phase of my thesis has begun and I decided to go on blogging some of my results. I’ll finish the paper probably in February 2012. After my return from NYC I spent a lot of time working on the theoretical part. On that background I’m evaluating the results from my analysis on Times Square now and West Street/ Christopher Street in the next few weeks. The area around Manhattan Bridge will probably not be part of the paper anymore – due to reasons of time and extent.
Users on the plaza and on Forsyth Street
Area #3: Manhattan Bridge/ Forsyth Street/ Canal Street
At the end of the bikeway over Manhattan Bridge there is an elevated triangulated plaza that is surrounded by the bridge itself, Forsyth and Canal Streets. That plaza and the setting of Forsyth Street market will be redesigned within the next years. Currently, workshops with community members should bring out the demands the community has towards the use and design of the plaza.
The transit structure of Manhattan Bridge is overlapping extensively with the grid’s street structure. A massive streetscape that rarely provides space for pedestrians shapes the area. But the elevated plaza yet is an interesting space within all those infrastructures that provides spatial qualities to pedestrians.
Walgreen (42 and 43 Street)
The Walgreen Building separates that area from the traffic of 7th Ave. It is a shady, introverted and relatively quiet space. The tables and chairs form an island in the middle of the street while the pedestrian street is going around it on both sides. Even the facades of the buildings are not that spectacular. But the visitor receives a nice view along 42Street and along Broadway over Times Square.
Between 43 and 44 Street and between 44 and 45 Street
These two segments are very alike concerning their spatial setting and the atmospheric situation. Islands with tables and chairs separate motor traffic from the broad pedestrian streets next to the stores. Between 44and 45 Street the pedestrian street tapers. At 45 Street the crossing with 7th Ave. is located.