Flatiron Public Plaza Design Installation 2016

This work is part of Public Realm R&D, an umbrella initiative; learn more about it here.

Contents

    For the third year, Van Alen Institute and the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership called for proposals for the annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition. The winning proposal was installed during the 2016 holiday season. The project aimed to design and build a highly visible temporary landmark at the heart of the Flatiron District that is the centerpiece of the Partnership’s annual holiday programming.

    Flatiron Sky-Line by LOT

    About

    For the third year, Van Alen Institute and the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership called for proposals for the annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition. The winning proposal was installed during the 2016 holiday season. The project aimed to design and build a highly visible temporary landmark at the heart of the Flatiron District that is the centerpiece of the Partnership’s annual holiday programming.

    Dates

    November 21, 2016–January 1, 2017

    Winner

    Flatiron Sky-Line

    Flatiron Sky-Line is a landmark spatial installation engaging passersby in an intimate interaction within and around it. Tubular arched components define an outlined trapezoidal galleria at the footsteps of the Flatiron building. Each of the arches is lit along its whole length, a smoothly transitioning lighting effect from daytime to nighttime transforming the look and experience of the installation while making it highly visible from a distance and from above.

    White net hammocks hanging from each of the arches invite the public to embrace the Flatiron Plaza skyline and immerse into the constructed tranquility of the Flatiron Plaza – skyline gazing, socializing, contemplating, and experiencing the surroundings.

    As part of the BID’s “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” programming, a camera mounted atop one of the arches will enable visitors to send holiday greetings via Facebook Live hosted on Flatiron’s Facebook page.

    Runner Up

    Architensions Radiant Forest

    Radiant Forest

    Radiant Forest is a pavilion that promotes interaction between people and encourages gathering in a comfortable environment. A composition of movable and stationary vertical slats partially skinned with a mirror film reflects visitors and passersby, highlighting the beautiful differences in our city across changing colors, seasons, days and nights. The forest invites visitors to follow unpredictable paths as they are drawn to an area by fiber optic curtains and radiant heating dishes. A sensor activates the radiant dishes and the fiber optics light up with RGB irradiation map colors, measuring the real-time temperature of the bodies occupying the space.

    Finalist

    B-KD Flatiron Roc Chair

    Flatiron Roc Chair

    Design has the power to create a sense of belonging, joy, and an ownership of public space. A design that provides a sense of familiarity between strangers in public while being playful is the core of Flatiron Roc Chair. As passersby enter and sit down, the piece rocks up and down, animating the holiday spirit. At night, in a fixed, upright position, the piece transforms into a stage where festive choirs perform. LED lights adhered to framing provide a glow underneath. Fitted polycarbonate panels at the ends offer safety for the kinetic movement of the piece.

    FreelandBuck Vanishing Point

    Vanishing Point

    Our visual experience is layered with the dense clouds of imagery and information encountered through digital devices and social networks. Expanding on this new visual capacity, Vanishing Point collects partial, oblique views of the Flatiron that are imprinted on layers of translucent fabric and woven into three kaleidoscopic urban objects. Condensing the countless images of the iconic building found online and elsewhere into a three-dimensional structure, the project captures multiplicitous our modes of seeing. From a central point within the pavilion, the layered drawings align into a unified image reminiscent of the iconic prow of the building. Vanishing Point would further proliferate the building’s image as the subject of new photos during the Holiday Festival.

    Young & Ayata Silver Shimmer

    Silver Shimmer

    Silver Shimmer appears at first as a field of vibrating light. When visitors approach, views shift through alignments of the chromed steel pipe structure, offering glimpses through the pavilion. Upon entering, one becomes immersed in the reflections of mirror-finished, bell-shaped balloons inflated to nestle within the lattice, reflecting the context and the luminous lines of the pavilion into a specular spectacular. What is not immediately apparent is that the pavilion is entirely constructed out of what already exists in the Flatiron Plaza, the public tables. This humble public amenity is transformed into something otherworldly, a shimmering lattice of light.

    Collaborators


    Nominations for the shortlisted firms were provided by:

    David van der Leer

    Jessica Healy

    Sherry Dobbin

    Director

    Times Square Arts