The new 42nd Street Connector was envisioned to ease circulation between two high-trafficked stations, 42nd St-Times Square and Bryant Park, via a new underground corridor configured from “found space,” granting access to four additional trains. The new corridor was developed by repurposing abandoned track, underutilized infrastructure spaces, and navigating the labyrinth of existing underground areas. Through the integration of updated technology and new stairways to the 6th Avenue line platforms, the passageway serves as a transformative infrastructural addition, completing the unification of three 42nd Street stations and increasing total access to an unprecedented 16 subway lines.
An expansive permanent artwork by Nick Cave, commissioned by MTA Arts & Design, runs 360 linear feet of the passageway, spanning the Connector’s North and East walls. ‘Every One’ includes more than two dozen of Cave’s iconic Soundsuits (larger than life wearable sculptures) rendered in mosaic. The suits can be seen fully activated in the companion video piece. Cave worked with the design team to create an immersive experience, translating his artistic vision into a permanent architectural installation. Opposite of the mosaic art wall are bands of colorful ceramic tile that mirror the colors of the exuberant glass mosaic. The art and architecture of the 42nd Street Connector engage the customer in a colorful visual journey and demonstrate the potential for infrastructure to inspire, inform, and invigorate the passenger experience.