A bundle of metallic, fluted tubes designed by the Brooklyn-based firm Future Expansion encourages a new visual experience of the Flatiron district—but it’s only in New York City for a short while.
Flatiron Reflection, a public art installation featuring a reflective bundle of sculptural forms, was this year’s winner of the Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design Competition. Set in the busy triangular public space near the beloved Flatiron Building, the installation encourages “new modes of dwelling in the plaza,” and invites all New Yorkers to re-engage with the city around them.
Seen from afar, Flatiron Reflection is a series of metallic folds that create soft reflections of the surrounding buildings. As the viewer approaches, the structures and activity mirrored in the folds become more acute, sharpening into well-known landmarks. The innovative design is meant to be experienced both from a distance and up-close, offering an intimate new experience of the iconic plaza.
The interior of the structure allows for a panoramic viewing experience, as the “central space opens out like a stage into the plaza.” The conical, fluted design allows for a perfect view of not only the Flatiron Building, but also the immediate, surrounding skyline.
“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,” says principals of Future Expansion, Deidre and Nicholas McDermott. “We hope that the installation opens new possibilities for interaction and experiences while reinforcing the pure public essence of the site.”
The glittering public art project is the result of a four-year-long collaboration between the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute, and permitted through New York City DOT Art. “Flatiron Reflection most certainly will become a destination for people who already are in love with Flatiron—or are visiting our neighborhood for the first time,” says Flatiron executive director Jennifer Brown.
But you have to explore this new side of the Flatiron District while you can, as Flatiron Reflections will only stay on view until January 1, 2018.