Faced with the bright lights, crowds and frenetic atmosphere of Times Square, one could be forgiven for feeling a little frazzled, and tired tourists would give anything to be able to lie back and relax within one of New York City’s busiest intersections. Now you can from August 24 this year, thanks to Jürgen Mayer H.: The German architect and artist has designed a set of urban loungers that will provide the public with the perfect place to rest in the middle of the famous “Crossroads of the World.”
Entitled “XXX TIMES SQUARE WITH LOVE,” Mayer H.’s fuchsia-colored recliners are named after their shape and inspired by the convergence of roads in Midtown Manhattan, known as “The Bowtie.” Each lounger accommodates four people — one within each leg of the “X” — and provides a whole new perspective of Times Square, with visitors encouraged to lie back and gaze up at the LED-covered walls and eclectic signage surrounding this iconic public space.
Rendering of the proposal by Jürgen Mayer H.
The connection between the multimedia circus of the surrounding square and that which we now carry in our pockets every day is also tapped into: People are invited to snap their unique view of the space and share with the hashtag #TSqXXX. “Lying down on ‘XXX’ allows for a completely different perception of Times Square and its media presence,” explains Mayer. “The view goes vertical, while you are broadcast via many of the public webcams of Times Square looking down on you. And besides your new perspective on the skyline, you might want to snap a selfie of yourself relaxing to share your ‘XXX’ with friends and family.”
The installation also nods to the more adult-oriented history of Times Square, as Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, explains: “Mayer H. delivered for us a striking and original street furniture design that not only references Times Square’s X-rated history, but also offers users a very different way of looking at and sharing a place that, on average, is posted on Instagram no fewer than 17,000 times a day. In pedestrian plazas that can be overwhelming at times, XXX offers a clever and calming way to experience them that is new, while referencing the old.”
Jürgen Mayer H. © Paul Green
As well as visual impact, it is vital that the loungers be robust enough to handle the swathes of people that will interact with it each day. According to Kevin Davey, Principal Creative Strategies of UAP North America, Mayer has delivered: “Jürgen’s amazing design required the fabrication of comfortable, precise elements that people could lay in while being suitable for the Times Square environment. Durability and beauty go hand in hand and cannot be compromised.”
The unveiling of the installation will take place on Wednesday, August 24, at 11:00 a.m. on the Broadway Pedestrian Plaza between 43rd and 44th streets.
The evening before — Tuesday, 23rd August at 6:00pm — Mayer is giving a lecture at the Center for Architecture at 536 La Guardia Place, offering a great chance to hear about the installation from the designer himself. To register for the event, click here.