Times Square art installation ‘Window to the Heart’ refracts billboard lights

People share a kiss inside the heart opening of the annual Times Square Valentine Heart after it was unveiled Thursday, Feb. 1 in Times Square. Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle

By Shaye Weaver

A 12-foot-wide lens with a heart-shaped center window in Times Square is making hearts melt for Valentine's Day.

The 3D-printed resin installation is the world’s largest lens at 12 feet in diameter and is made to distort and capture Times Square by both bending its colorful lights and by framing the famous stretch with the heart-shaped window, according to Times Square Arts.

A selfie-opportunity if there ever was one, the sculpture, dubbed “Window to the Heart,” is open for people to photograph themselves within it, which completes the loop between the lens of the eye and the lens of a camera, the organization points out.


Designers Arana/Lasch + Marcelo Coelho created the object as part of the Times Square Arts 2018 Valentine Heart Design Competition and competed against six other companies to win the placement.

Other possibilities included knitted hearts; folded, metal panels; a locket made of 8,000 welded keys; heart-shaped totems emitting sounds; and string panels that overlapped to make the shape of a heart.

Last year’s winner was “We Were Strangers Once Too,” by the Office for Creative Research, which used public data to show the role that immigrants played in the founding and development of the city. More than 30 metal poles were inscribed with national origins and shifting populations for foreign-born residents. The poles shifted into the shape of a heart as visitors traveled around the sculpture, according to Times Square Arts.

The sculpture was unveiled on Feb. 1 at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th streets, and will be up through the end of the month.