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A Modern Metal Valentine

Love is in the air, and in New York City's Times Square, it's also bringing strangers together.

matchmakerYoung Projects, Brooklyn, N.Y., is the winner of this year's 2014 Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition, hosted by the Van Alen Institute and Times Square Arts. Sponsored by Snuggle fabric softener, the sixth annual competition celebrates the opening of the revitalized Father Duffy Square and iconic Red Steps.

The winning design, "Match-Maker," cosmically connects people for Valentine's Day. Visitors arrange themselves at 12 points around the heart-shaped sculpture, based upon their zodiac signs. Peering through the colorful, interwoven metal periscopes provides a glimpse of each person's four most ideal astrological mates, offering potential connections. The sculpture's form is elusive, complex and symmetrical, and from different vantage points throughout Times Square can look like a perfect and iconic heart, or it can look tangled and perplexing.

match1The sculpture was constructed in collaboration with Brooklyn-based metal fabricator, Kammetal, and Trojan Powder Coating, Bay Shore, N.Y., along with contractor Taocon, New York City; graphic designer Dungjai, New York City; lighting consultancy Lighting Workshop, Brookyln; and structural engineers Robert Silman Associates, New York City. Additional support was provided by Parsons The New School for Design.

Trojan Powder Coating, along with Kammetal, provided custom powder coating in various rich shades of Merlot, Cherry Red, Coral and Light Pink to the innovative structure of interwoven aluminum periscopes. The shiny bright hues introduce a dramatic effect, and the sleek periscopes convey a modern, fresh aesthetic for art lovers-and romantic hopefuls-on Valentine's Day.

match2

"It was a pleasure collaborating with Young Projects on the detailed design and fabrication of Match-Maker," says Alastair Kusack of Kammetal. "Kammetal enjoyed the technical challenges associated with the production of the sculpture, and with the help of Trojan Powdercoating, were able to complete the work within in a five-week timeline."

"I would like to express the privilege of working with all involved in this project and the teamwork that went into making it such a successful launch," says Carl Troiano, Trojan Powder Coating. "The team at Trojan worked with all the parties involved to ensure a quality powder coated finish was applied in a timely manner."

The 2014 Valentine Heart is located at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th Streets, through March 11.

Top photo courtesy of Young Projects. Bottom two photos courtesy of Kammetal.

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