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The tower of times

In 1988, the Historical Society of New York launched a world competition to design the building for One Time Square. The best 50 proposals, including ours, were exhibited at the NYC Historical Society

25 November 2020
Year :
Location :
N°1 Time Square, New York

The New York Times building is located at 620 Eighth Avenue, on the west side of Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Its chief tenant is the publisher of The New York Times as well as the International New York Times, and other newspapers. The competition took place in 1988 more than a decade before the construction of the Renzo Piano building in 2007.

Our proposal is about the history of time. It reintegrated many centuries of that story:

  • The general shape of the building is an extremely thin pyramid almost in a needle shape. The side of the pyramid is designed in a staircase shape.
    – The building itself is a sundial including the entire street ground and sidewalk of Time Square, on which pavement indicates white shiny lines of time, as the hours are passing and the shadow of the needle-building passes.
    – The facades of the building are covered by a huge integrated circuit made of LEDs’ light running all day long announcing the New York Times paper’s NEWS. The LEDs indicate the time permanently at multiple locations and heights.
    – A visitors’ platform at the top of the building allows the visitors to admire the panorama like at the World Trade Center. Facing Time Square there is a large circular and mechanical clock.
    – In the center of the clock, one can see the traditional red ball for the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square.
    – At the top of the building and opposite to the circular clock, there is a giant Analemmatic Sundial.
    – Intermingled with the other structures of the top building, there is a giant Clepsydra, an ancient tile water clock.

Ingrid Hustvedt, architect
Françoise Schein


The New York Historical Society
City of New York