TKTS was opened in October 2008. It was a project that began nine years earlier with an international competition to re-design the existing TKTS booth at the centre of Times Square. The competition was the largest in New York’s history at the time and attracted 683 entrants from 31 countries.
While the competition brief simply requested designs for a small scale architectural structure to replace the existing booth, we reframed the problem as one requiring an urban design response. Our proposal for the new ticketing booth consists of a tiered red ‘resin’ staircase that rises to form a backdrop for the nearby statue of Father Duffy, simultaneously providing roofing to the booth and a public space above. The shell of the booth is lit from within, generating a powerful glow at night that strengthens the presence of TKTS, making it an iconic marker for Times Square. TKTS patrons and visitors alike are provided with a new place to pause and enjoy the theatre of Times Square.
The design's iconic strength has seen it become instantly part of the identity of the city and popular culture. It was featured in the Will Smith film ‘I Am Legend’, and recently it featured in the music video of Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ ode to New York, ‘Empire State of Mind’.
Widely acclaimed for the way in which both public and private benefits are derived whilst strengthening the underlying character of Times Square, it has received an unprecedented 18 international and national design awards.
Architect: Choi Ropiha, Perkins Eastman, PKSB
Team: Dewhurst Macfarlane and Partners, DMJM Harris, Schaefer Lewis Engineers, Fisher Marantz Stone
Building Contractor: Gorton Associates, D. Haller, Haran Glass with IG Innovation Glass
Photography: John Saeyong Ra, Emile Wamsteker, Ari Burling