On View: “Ziggy” by Hou de Sousa
November 19, 2019
Flatiron Partnership and Van Alen Institute Unveil Ziggy by Hou de Sousa at Flatiron North Public Plaza
NEW YORK, November 19, 2019—The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute yesterday unveiled the winner of the sixth annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition: Ziggy by New York-based team Hou de Sousa. On view through January 1, 2020, Ziggy celebrates the holiday season with vibrant hues and playful gestures, creating a highly visible landmark at the heart of the Flatiron District and the centerpiece of the Partnership’s annual holiday programming.
“Our holiday installation is a tradition that evokes the wonder and joy of the season for those who live in, work in, and visit Flatiron,” said James Mettham, Executive Director of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership. “Ziggy is a fitting centerpiece for our annual ‘23 Days of Flatiron Cheer’ festivities and a vibrant kaleidoscopic beacon that will be a must-see destination this December. We are proud to partner with Van Alen Institute and Hou de Sousa, and we invite visitors from near and far to visit Flatiron this season!”
“Hou de Sousa’s spectacular installation invites us to rethink how we interact with public space, and with one another,” said Deborah Marton, Executive Director, Van Alen Institute. “Their design creates delightful and unexpected ways to connect with others. We’re thrilled to collaborate once again with the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership in this annual tradition to create inventive and imaginative visions for an iconic urban plaza.”
Composed of painted rebar and 27,000 feet of iridescent cord, Ziggy’s lightweight structure dynamically filters its surroundings with shifting patterns, color, and light. Its winding form frames views of the Flatiron District’s many attractions and landmarks, while also serving as seating for locals and visitors seeking a moment of rest. The structure is installed on the Flatiron North Public Plaza at Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street, as part of the Partnership’s “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” programming. The installation is permitted through NYC DOT Art and is open to the public daily, weather permitting.
“Ziggy is a polyvalent creature that strings together gateways, apertures, and seating,” said Josh de Sousa, Principal & Co-Founder of Hou de Sousa. “This porous wall will welcome folks arriving from all directions while ringing in the holiday season with a flourish of color and light.”
“This competition continues to demonstrate the importance of both public art and programming in DOT public plazas,” said NYC DOT Art & Event Programming Director, Emily Colasacco. “Hou de Sousa’s interactive, larger-than-life-size configuration will bring even more color to the already vibrant Flatiron District, and DOT is pleased to be part of the annual holiday transformation as we enter our sixth year as a partner.”
Hou de Sousa is a New York-based architecture, art, and design studio focused on culturally progressive and environmentally responsible projects that foster public engagement and creativity. Over the past two years, Nancy Hou and Josh de Sousa’s office has won open competitions and RFPs hosted by Google; Friends of the High Line; Georgetown BID; Socrates Sculpture Park; Dupont Underground; the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism; and the Architectural League of New York. The Ziggy project team also includes Powell Draper, Director of Operations at Schlaich Bergermann and Partner; Dan Bergsagel, Structural Engineer at Schlaich Bergermann and Partner; and steel fabrication by Brian Chu and Conor Coghlan, the Co-Founders of A05 Studio.
Sponsored by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, Ziggy and the accompanying programming “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” are made possible with generous support from Presenting Sponsor Meringoff Properties.
Throughout the holidays, the Partnership is encouraging visitors to use #ZiggyFlatiron on Twitter and Instagram to share images of the installation to be entered into a contest to win prizes from local businesses.
About the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership
The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, formed in 2006, is a nonprofit organization and Business Improvement District whose mission is to enhance the reputation of Flatiron and NoMad as two of New York’s most vital and exciting neighborhoods. This is accomplished by maintaining a clean and safe environment for the district’s businesses, residents and visitors; by spearheading area improvement projects; and by marketing the diverse business and retail options in this vibrant and historic neighborhood.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter: @FlatironNY
About Van Alen Institute
At Van Alen Institute, we believe design can transform cities, landscapes, and regions to improve people’s lives. We collaborate with communities, scholars, policymakers, and professionals on local and global initiatives that rigorously investigate the most pressing social, cultural, and ecological challenges of tomorrow. Building on more than a century of experience, we develop cross-disciplinary research, provocative public programs, and inventive design competitions.
Instagram, Twitter: @van_alen
About the NYC DOT Art Program
Launched in 2008, the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program invigorates the City’s streetscapes with engaging temporary art installations. The program partners with community-based organizations and artists to present murals, sculptures, projections and performances on plazas, fences, barriers, bridges, step streets and sidewalks for up to 11 months.
Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership: Zac Roy, firstname.lastname@example.org, 347-361-9072
Van Alen Institute: Alisha Kim Levin, email@example.com, 212-924-7000 x11