That's the question NYC 2000 and Theatre Development Fund have tossed out to architects around the world, challenging them to come up with a new look and a more efficient layout for the famous discount tickets booth in midtown Manhattan. Dubbed "tkts2k," the competition is open to "architects, landscape designers and graphic designers."
TDF Chairman John F. Breglio said in a statement, "The booth and its integrated signage needs to be redesigned to reflect the needs of both the public and the architectural landscape of Times Square." Breglio hoped for a design that "thoroughly reinvents or reinterprets" the booth.
Ron Silver, who chairs the New York City Millennium Committee's NYC 2000 project, praised "tkts" for "keeping many shows alive" and conveyed Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's support for redesigning the booth, which is owned and operated by TDF.
Designed in 1973 by Mayers & Schiff, the tkts booth started with a budget of $75,000 (and a trailer donated by Mayor John Lindsay) and has since sold more than 36 million discount tickets, generating more than $700 million in revenue. The booth eventually became the model for ticket discount services all over the world.
Designers entering the competition need to pay a $50 registration fee and submit their work by Oct. 14, 1999. Results will be announced in December 1999 as part of the New York City Millennium celebration. For information on registration, call the Van Alen Institute, which is coordinating the contest. Their number is (212) 924-7000 (ext. 18) or check out their website: http://www.vanalen.org. -- By David Lefkowitz