3-D Printed Heart to be Opened in Times Square
Love lives in Times Square, and it’s taken the shape of the world’s largest Fresnel lens, a public installation that was made to look like a heart to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Known as "Window to the Heart," the display measures 12 feet in diameter and was created by design studio Aranda\Lasch working in collaboration with artist Marcelo Coelho.
The installation, produced by 3-D printing manufacturer Formlabs and structural engineer Laufs Engineering Design, captures the image of Times Square at its center, which features a heart-shaped window that bends and distorts surrounding light and imagery.
Given its diameter, the installation has come to be known as the world’s largest Fresnel lens—a lightweight, compact lens that is often used in lighthouse lamps, noted Architect Magazine.
Each lens segment was 3-D printed at a high resolution in clear resin by Formlabs.
“With the lens made entirely from a 3-D-printed material instead of glass, 'Window to the Heart' upends the centuries-old methods of lens-making to invite individuals to reimagine how they see and photograph the world,” noted Times Square Arts.
Visitors are welcome to look through the window or photograph themselves in the frame. According to Times Square Arts, this symbolically completes “the loop between the lens of the eye and the lens of the camera.”
“Times Square is a symbol for how we experience our world," said the designers. "It is a physical manifestation of our culture, one dispersed and absorbed through cameras and screens. And in this culture, to fall in love you must first fall through a lens.”
This installation marks the 10th annual iteration of the Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition, where architecture and design firms submit proposals for Love in Times Square in February.
"Window to the Heart" will be available to the public Feb. 1-28.