“HEARTBEAT” is a Heart-Beating Urban Drum

Invited Competition is a Collaboration between Times Square Arts and The Architectural League of New York

Valentines Day Heart

New York, December 15, 2014 Times Square Arts announced today that the Brooklyn- based, Venezuelan-born firm Stereotank is the winner of this year’s annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design. Over the last seven years, the Times Square Alliance has invited architecture and design firms to submit proposals for a romantic public art installation celebrating Valentine’s Day in Times Square. This year’s winning design, HEARTBEAT will be unveiled on February 9, and remain on view through March 8th. HEARTBEAT will be located at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th Streets. This is in partnership with The Architectural League of New York. Support provided by Arup.

HEARTBEAT is a heart-beating urban drum. This engagement sculpture consists of a massive heart glowing to the rhythm of a strong, deep and low frequency heartbeat sound. Visitors are encouraged to move around and engage with it by playing various percussion instruments and joining the base rhythm of the heartbeat. The audience is invited to come together and creatively play, listen, dance and feel the vibrations of the heart while enjoying the warm pulsating light. In the emblematic, active, flickering atmosphere of Times Square, HeartBeat orchestrates multiple rhythms into a unique urban concert.

HEARTBEAT is equipped with various percussion instruments. Each drum has unique sounds and resonant characteristics. Membranes of different sizes and materials such as synthetic snare skin, synthetic snare skin with coil, animal hide, and hard plastic are used to create a variety of drum timbres.

Barry Bergdoll, Selection Committee, Meyer Shapiro Professor of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University, said “The combination of an interactive heart beat that increases with approach and the music making capacities is very interesting. It is an impressive object to occupy this space of cacophony, with sufficient red mass to be enjoyed even by wheeled passersby. “

Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said “The Valentine Heart is a signature tradition in Times Square. HEARTBEAT will give visitors the opportunity to play the rhythms of Times Square to celebrate their love.”

Stereotank architects Sara Valente and Marcelo Ertorteguy said, "What's common between Love and Music?  Love is about sharing and being ‘in tune’ with somebody, so it is the creation of music, a concert is a combined action where the performers are also ‘in tune’ creating harmony. Heartbeat orchestrates Times Square's unique, active, flickering atmosphere."

Anne Rieselbach, Program Director of The Architectural League of New York said, “This young firm has done a terrific job of transforming the expected--a heart-shaped form--into a magnetic attractor that creates a vibrant center for the dynamic environment of Times Square.”

Other invited finalists for the 2015 Times Square Valentine Heart Design included: Alibi Studio; The Bittertang Farm & James Lowder; Chat Travieso; Modu Architecture; SLO Architecture; and Taylor Miller.

The proposals for the 2015 Valentine Heart Design Competition were reviewed by representatives from the Times Square Arts Advisory Committee and Barry Bergdoll, Meyer Shapiro Professor of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University; Yolande Daniels, Studio SUMO; Sherry Dobbin, Director of Public Art, Times Square Arts; Wendy Feuer, Director of Urban Design & Art, Department of Transportation, City of New York; Rosalie Genevro, Executive Director, The Architectural League New York; Jennifer Lantzas, Public Art Coordinator, Department of Parks, City of New York; Wendy Evans Joseph, Cooper Joseph Studio; Granger Moorhead, Moorhead & Moorhead; Anne Rieselbach, Program Director, The Architectural League New York; Bradley Samuels, SITU Studio; Reina Shibata, Deputy Director of Percent for Art, City of New York and Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance

Previous winners of the Times Square Valentine Heart Design include: Young Projects (2014); Situ Studio (2013); BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) (2012); Freecell (2011); Moorhead & Moorhead (2010); and Gage / Clemenceau Architects (2009).

Visitors can follow the conversation on Twitter using #LoveTimesSquare.


Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world's most iconic urban places. Through the Square's electronic billboards, public plazas, vacant areas and popular venues, and the Alliance's own online landscape, Times Square Arts invites leading contemporary creators to help the public see Times Square in new ways. Times Square has always been a place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the Arts Program ensures these qualities remain central to the district's unique identity. Generous support of Times Square Arts is provided by ArtPlace America and ArtWorks. Visit http://www.timessquarenyc.org/times-square-arts/index.aspx for more information. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @TSqArts.

About The Architectural League of New York:
The Architectural League of New York nurtures excellence in architecture, design, and urbanism, and stimulates thinking and debate about the critical design and building issues of our time. As a vital, independent forum for architecture and its allied disciplines, the League helps create a more beautiful, vibrant, innovative, and sustainable future. Visit archleague.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @archleague.

About Stereotank:
Marcelo Ertorteguy and Sara Valente, Venezuelan New York-based architects founded Stereotank to experiment with the common grounds between architecture, art and sound. Their focus lies on the research, design and construction of immersive installations in urban settings for the public engagement, often using found objects (or rather sought objects) as raw materials with the intention of exploring their re-configuration and their sound properties in space as another dimension of the material. Stereotank has participated in public art programs and festivals working with organizations such as the Architectural League and Pen World Voices for the Nolita Little Free Library in NYC, Kobe Biennale in Japan -receiving a honorable mention for the Cargo Guitar project, the Department of Transportation in NYC with the Cyclo-phone installation and Mall-terations project, Zooart in Italy, Bring to Light in Brooklyn and Make Music New York. Follow us on twitter at @stereotank_info

Media Contacts:
For Times Square Arts:
TJ Witham (212) 452-5234│ TJWitham@TimesSquareNYC.org
Marisa Wayne (212) 843-9216 │MWayne@Rubenstein.com

For The Architectural League of New York: 
Nicholas S. Anderson (212-753-1722 X14) │ anderson@archleague.org