Archive for the ‘Heartwalk’ Category

Heartwalk moves to Atlantic City

Last week Heartwalk reached its final destination overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on the oldest boardwalk in the country (opened in 1870) in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Heartwalk has traveled from its original home in Times Square as the winner of the annual Valentine’s Day Heart Design Competition, to Pearl Street Triangle near the waterfront in DUMBO, to Brooklyn to The Rockways in Queens before finding a permanent home in Atlantic City.


Heartwalk is installed near New York Ave. on the 4 mile long boardwalk.

After sundown Atlantic City gave Heartwalk a warm welcome at a Dedication Ceremony with glowsticks and candy for visitors of all ages, and a local band playing love songs.


Heartwalk draws inspiration from the collective experience of Hurricane Sandy and the love that binds the City’s citizens together during trying times. It is built entirely from wooden planks salvaged from New York and New Jersey boardwalks that were severely damaged by Hurricane and creates a space for visitors to gather and reflect on their experiences and possibly even discuss how to be better prepared for the future.

Heartwalk is the first of the Valentine’s Day Heart Design Competition winners to travel to several public spaces and be installed permanently. We are really grateful for everyone who has made Heartwalk and this journey possible.

You can browse and keep up with Heartwalk’s journey online on, a crowd-sourced Instagram gallery where all photos with the hashtag #Heartwalk and #HeartwalkAC are posted.




Public Space Potluck

Over the weekend we installed Heartwalk at its summer home on Rockaway Beach. In celebration of the move, the Design Trust for Public Space will be hosting a Public Space Potluck for NYCxDesign in collaboration with the MoMA PS1 VW Dome 2. Please join us May 18th, from 1-4 pm, for the informal potluck and a discussion of the role of design in disaster recovery. Design Trust for Public Space will be providing cups, plates, napkins and beach blankets. The full press release is available here.

Heartwalk will be installed in the Rockaways through June 15th


Installing Heartwalk at its new home in the Rockaways at the end of Beach 94th st.


A big THANK YOU! to NYC Parks and Design Trust for Public Space for helping us get Heartwalk here.

Heartwalk is Traveling to the Rockaways

Heartwalk will find a new home for the summer season. Now that it is completing its stint in our home neighborhood of DUMBO, Heartwalk is getting ready to move to the Rockaways. The piece will be installed near the beach, where the boardwalk existed before it was decimated by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.


The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation is facilitating the move from DUMBO to Rockaway beach. We’re excited that Heartwalk will be present as the Rockaway community continues to rebuild and attract visitors this summer.


Heartwalk Moves to DUMBO

Heartwalk  has moved to DUMBO and is installed in the Pearl Street Triangle, just next to the Manhattan Bridge Archway, through April 30th.  Big thanks to the Design Trust for Public Space for helping to find new home for Heartwalk and for connecting us to the DUMBO Improvement District and the New York City Department of Transportation, who facilitated the move in early March.  After Heartwalk leaves DUMBO, we have plans to move it to another venue for the summer.  We hope to announce the next location shortly.


As documented in the above time-lapse, the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge creates a spectacular light show on sunny days.

Also, the Heartwalk Instagram aggregator site is still up and running.  Click here to check out the latest pictures (, and be sure to visit and tag your own photos #Heartwalk.


We were honored to have a visit from Architects Wang Shu and wife/partner Lu Wenyu recently.

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day was pretty intense in Duffy Square this year as tens of thousands of visitors passed through to renew vows, canoodle and visit the “heart” of New York City.

Photo by Keith Sirchio

Couples and families filed in to heartwalk throughout the evening. It really began to function like a photo booth.


In a very unexpected surprise Heartwalk  also became the stage for at least four engagements that evening.

Photo by Keith Sirchio

It was our hope that this heart would be a net that could ensnare the incredible diversity that is Times Square. Witnessing the range of visitors that stopped to have their picture taken that evening was pretty remarkable.


Approximately 500,000 people pass through Times Square each day. Inevitably, many of those people are going to take photographs of their experience and as part of the planning around the Heartwalk project we began to think about how we could crowd-source imagery from photos taken by the general public. We worked with a terrific office called HD MADE to build a Heartwalk photo aggregator that harvests Instagram images at regular intervals throughout the day. HD MADE created a platform that harvests images by predetermined hashtags (#heartwalktsq, #heartwalk) and feeds them to a gallery.

If you visit Heartwalk, Instagram a few pics and hashtag them #heartwalktsq. Check out your photos (and everyone else’s) here:


Hopefully over the coming weeks this gallery will grow as the public visits the installation. We’re looking forward to seeing the results of this experiment in social media – somewhere between a photo-booth and a photo-album.




Heartwalk Assembly

We’re in the throes of assembling the components for the Heartwalk. After removing all the hardware and planing the planks, we’ve been cutting them to size for assembly into the array that will form the inner and outer walls. The structure will be pre-assembled into sections that we will transport and install in Times Square over approximately 12 hours.


A view of the south-side being mocked up.


A view from between the interior and exterior walls.


Note all the holes from where original boardwalk screws were removed.


Over the past week we’ve collected close to 500 salvaged boardwalk boards from four locations (Atlantic City, Sea Girt, Long Beach, Rockaway) along the NY/NJ coasts that were hit by Hurricane Sandy for our Times Square installation, Heartwalk.  Boards are a mix of exotic Ipe, treated Pine and Cedar, and composite decking.  In some locations we’ve picked boards out of piles of debris.  At other locations we were given permission to unscrew boards from sections of boardwalk that were deemed unsafe and would need to be rebuilt.


Once back in our fabrication shop, repurposing begins by removing nails and screws and brushing sand and salt off of the boards.  Splintered sections are cut away and the remaining clean portions are stacked and dried.  A number of the Ipe boards that will be used on the interior of the heart are planed on one side to expose the natural dense reddish grain that is masked by the weathered gray patina.

Simultaneously, we have been developing the design through mockups and lighting studies.  Over the next week, we’ll be fully fabricating Heartwalk at a staging location adjacent to our fabrication shop prior to installing in Times Square on February 10th.



Salvaging Material from NY/NJ Boardwalks Damaged by Sandy

Last Friday we began the process of collecting salvaged lumber from boardwalks damaged by Hurricane Sandy for our upcoming installation in Times Square – Heartwalk.  The following photos are of the boardwalks in Atlantic City and Sea Girt, NJ.  On Tuesday we’ll be visiting Long Beach, NY.  What we found in the two sites of New Jersy was astonishing.  In Atlantic city the quater-mile section of boardwalk along the Absecon Inlet was almost completely torn from the concrete piers.  In Sea Girt, the mile-long boardwalk will have to be entirely rebuilt.

Over the next couple weeks we’ll re-purpose 300-400 boards from the three sites for the Times Square installation.


One of the few remaining sections of Absecon Inlet boardwalk, Atlantic City.


Splintered section of the Atlantic City boardwalk at Oriental Ave.


Warped and fractured section of Sea Girt boardwalk.


Picking boards from pile of debris in Atlantic City, NJ.


Situ Studio Selected as Winner of 2013 Times Square Valentine Heart Design

Situ Studio is the winner of this year’s annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design, a collaboration between Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, and the Design Trust for Public Space.

Heartwalk will be unveiled on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, and remain on view until March 8, 2013.

20130115_Heartwalk_Aerial RenderingBlog

Aerial rendering of Heartwalk in Duffy Square.


Rendering looking south from the TKTS pavilion.

Whether it was the radically reconfigured landscapes, the compromised infrastructural networks that tie us all together or the temporary solutions that emerged in the days and weeks that followed, Sandy confronted all New Yorker’s with a transformation of the familiar.  This installation takes inspiration from the collective experience of this event and the love that binds the City’s citizens together on this Valentine’s Day.  Using wooden planks salvaged from the boardwalks of both New York and New Jersey, the installation begins as two ribbons which fluidly lift from the ground to form a heart shaped enclosure in the middle of Duffy Square.  The slatted construction, illuminated from within, provides varied views of the interior as the visitors move around perimeter of the installation.  At the base of the heart, a flattened area allows visitors to enter the installation itself – alone together for a moment at the center of the world’s greatest city.

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