Flatiron Reflection

For the fourth year, Van Alen Institute and the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership called for proposals for the annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition. The project aimed to design and build a highly visible temporary landmark at the heart of the Flatiron District that will be the centerpiece of the Partnership’s annual holiday programming, which kicked off in November 2017.

Flatiron Reflection is a publicly spirited space that encourages new experiences of the city, new modes of dwelling in the plaza, and new views of its context. A bundle of shimmering tubes creates a fragmented column at the scale of the public plaza. The fluted perimeter offers niches that can be occupied, while a panoramic central space opens out like a stage into the plaza. The conical interior form cuts out the visual noise of the city to isolate the image of the Flatiron Building and its neighbors on the skyline.

The project is designed to be experienced both up-close and from a distance, in the round. As you walk around it, the play of light, shadow, and reflection changes its appearance against the background of buildings and trees. From a distance, the folds create soft reflections that become clearer as you approach: Indistinguishable shapes sharpen into hazy impressions of familiar landmarks.

Architect and Design Firm : Future Expansion

Fabrication: The New Motor

Client: Van Alen Institute, Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership

Location: Manhattan, NY

Status: Temporary Installation (Nov-Dec 2017)

Engineering: GMS

Photographs: Noah Kalina