Future Expansion

Van Alen Institute reveals winner of Flatiron holiday installation contest

East Urbanism
(Courtesy Future Expansion)

The Van Alen Institute has announced the winner of its annual competition to design a festive holiday folly in the Flatiron. This year the architecture nonprofit, in collaboration with a local BID, tapped Brooklyn’s Future Expansion to design a temporary installation on a traffic island right off of Madison Square Park.

(Courtesy Future Expansion)

(Courtesy Future Expansion)

This year’s installation is shiny. For Flatiron Reflection, Future Expansion used bright tubes to create closed spaces for quiet contemplation, with a central stage that opens out onto the plaza. The interior massing freezes the famous Flatiron Building in a romantic tableaux.

Flatiron Reflection is fourth iteration of the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition, a seasonal initiative sponsored by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID). The project is sanctioned by NYC DOT Art, and will remain on view through January 1, 2018.

“We’re excited to be working with the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute to temporarily transform this spectacular site,” said Deirdre and Nicholas McDermott, principals of Future Expansion, in a prepared statement. “The installation is designed for three scales of experience: the deeply creased exterior makes spaces for individuals; the interior room offers an intimate panorama for small groups; and the north-facing wedge presents a platform toward the plaza. We hope that the installation opens new possibilities for interaction and experiences while reinforcing the pure public essence of the site.”

(Courtesy Future Expansion)

(Courtesy Future Expansion)

When the competition opened this summer, Van Alen invited ten firms—Future ExpansionHive Public SpaceKyle May, ArchitectPracticeSchaum/Shieh; The Principals; and BAS; FIRM a.d. with Marman and Borins—to submit proposals for the installation. Last year, LOT illuminated the same plaza with bright white arches. There were hammocks for lounging, too.

Planning a visit? Van Alen and the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership are encouraging visitors to tag their Twitter and Instagram posts with #FlatironReflection to win prizes from area businesses.

(Courtesy Future Expansion)

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