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Are you in a Victorian romance novel or Times Square? Head to the crossroad’s latest public art installation, Love’s h|Edge, to find out.
The heart-shaped hedge exhibit, on display through the end of the month, is the 15th winner of the Times Square Alliance’s yearly Love and Design competition — which invites architecture and design firms to compete for a chance to showcase a “love-themed” structure at the center of Midtown.
This year’s winner is Brooklyn-based design practice Almost Studio, whose other projects include installations at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, fashion houses Chloé and Sandy Liang, indie art competition ArtPrize and New York Fashion Week.
Love’s h|Edge invites visitors to wander through the project’s heart-shaped hedge rows, illuminated benches and trellises (here appropriately called “Pitter-Patios”), and add their own fresh roses to the structure. Roses will be given away each day at 1pm by Times Square ambassadors, special celebrity guests and fellow New Yorkers. In addition to the fresh flowers, the hedge’s artificial roses will “bloom” over the course of the month.
“Like a daydream, and just for just a moment – forget your troubles, your stress, your to-dos, and where you are going,” said Almost Studio’s Dorian Booth and Anthony V Gagliard in a statement. “Love’s h|Hedge is meant to be a pause, a momentary illusion, in your day, in your week and in your life.
“Planting an artificial garden within Times Square is meant to be a jolt from our routines,” they added. “It is meant to draw from the history of landscape design, public theater, and Surrealism to take us out of our everyday, and instead, offer a garden island of wonders, what-ifs, and some-days. It is a place of reflection and reformation. It is a place to look at yourself and others anew.”
Times Square Arts Director Jean Cooney said, “For 15 years Times Square’s Love and Design program has celebrated talented architects and designers taking on the theme of love in unique and innovative ways, and Almost Studio continues this tradition while creating something completely distinct from any of the works that came before it. Love’s h|Edge is the perfect encapsulation of love for Times Square — an endlessly engaging and evolving design that leverages illusion and theatricality to set a public stage for personal exploration and discovery.”
And for those looking to dial up the romance provided by Love’s|Hedge, dewy-eyed New Yorkers and visitors can participate in the annual Love in Times Square Valentine’s Day festivities, where happy couples can sign up to renew their vows on the Red Steps, get married in Duffy Square and even propose to their partners under the Times Square American Eagle Sign. Our only recommendation before signing up is to be sure they’ll say yes. Good luck!