Times Square Renovation: Craig Dykers [TEDxBroadway]

After attending Craig Dyker’s Church Lecture at the Bijou, I was fascinated by his flamboyant personality, but intelligent delivery and knowledge of the many, high-profile projects that his firm, Snohetta, has worked on. Moreover, after discussing my project with Dykers in a rare, intimate setting in Ewing, I was impressed by his ability to speak at both a broad, conceptual level as well as delve deep into the technical, esoteric intricacies of architecture. Aware that he did a TED Talk a few years ago on  Snohetta’s Times Square renovation, I was interested to see a more detailed account of the process of engaging such a high-profile project. Similar to the ethos of Thomas Woltz, Dykers’ presents the Times Square renovation in a historical deep-dive of the site. As he begins to strip down the history of Times Square, we discover that its location is epicenter to the confluence of many creeks–thus creating a sunkenness on the island of Manhattan, and discovering elevation change of 8 ft within a few blocks. It’s Dykers and Snohetta’s deep-dive into the non-traditional aspects of site that makes them such innovators in design. Dykers’ peculiar research approach is also demonstrated as he focuses heavily on human behaviour and movement throughout Times Square. Whether noticing the many ways people used a newspaper stand or engaged a bench in Times Square, Snohetta would base their form and placement around human temporality. I think that’s what makes Dykers and Snohetta so innovative, they understand the temporality between space, form and humans and that designing for a multimodal environment is integral in a lasting design.


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