Ben Aranda's Window to the Heart Installed in Times Square

January 31, 2018

Window to the Heart - Photo Courtesy Formlabs
Window to the Heart - Photo Courtesy Formlabs

Professor Benjamin Aranda’s firm, Aranda/Lasch has designed a new architectural installation in the heart of Times Square. Built in collaboration with Marcelo Coelho and sponsored by the Design Trust for Public Space and Times Square Arts, the project, titled “Window to the Heart” is on view from February 1st, 2018 – February 28th, 2018. Located at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th streets, the installation consists of a 12-foot diameter Fresnel lens with a heart-shaped window in its center.

Rather than using the traditional lens-making methods of casting, cutting, and repeatedly polishing glass, Window to the Heart will leverage the latest advances in design, materials, and fabrication to craft something that was previously unattainable. Each of the almost 1,000 lens segments is 3D-printed at a high resolution by Formlabs using clear resin, a material capable of the unique surface quality and clarity required by optical elements. With the lens made entirely from a 3D-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.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.