Who we are as a city is defined by how we interact in our public spaces. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of our public spaces and their role in creating connected, healthy, and resilient communities.
Since its inception in 2014, the Flatiron Public Plaza Design Installation has been a platform for the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute to bring people together and support inventive visions for an iconic urban plaza. This year’s installation, Point of Action by Studio Cooke John, offers the neighborhood continuity as we consider how public space can develop bonds and networks that help our city heal and thrive.
Ziggy is a kaleidoscopic beacon for the people of New York. On view November 18, 2019–January 1, 2020, Ziggy celebrated the holiday season with vibrant hues and playful gestures. Composed of painted rebar and 27,000 feet of iridescent cord, this lightweight structure dynamically filtered its surroundings with shifting patterns, color, and light. Its winding form framed views of the Flatiron District’s many attractions and landmarks, while also serving as seating for locals and visitors seeking a moment of respite.
Happy is both a figure and a place. A series of softly shaped and richly colored screens drape down from an open frame to inscribe a more intimate collective space and provide an analog filter to see the city in a different light. In our otherwise bleak social and political context, this architectural installation aspires to carve a small yet more positive urban space: It seeks to offer a warm embrace during the cold winter months.
Flatiron Reflection, by architecture and design firm Future Expansion, opened to the public on Monday, November 20, on the North Flatiron Public Plaza at Broadway, Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street, and remained on view through the holidays as part of the Partnership’s “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” programming.