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  1. ArchDaily
  2. News
  3. Future Expansion's "Flatiron Reflections" to Transform Flatiron Public Plaza For The Winter

Future Expansion's "Flatiron Reflections" to Transform Flatiron Public Plaza For The Winter

Future Expansion's "Flatiron Reflections" to Transform Flatiron Public Plaza For The Winter
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

The fourth annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition winner has been announced--Flatiron Reflection by Future Expansion. In June 2017 non-profit groups Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute invited ten design and architecture firms to submit proposals. “The initiative has become a valuable platform for launching new practices, a visible celebration of inventive, temporary designs that enliven public space during a chillier season, and an opportunity to understand how these spaces impact our minds and bodies” states David van der Leer, Executive Director of Van Alen Institute. 

Of the ten design and architecture firms invited to submit proposals, Future Expansion with their Flatiron Reflection won the competition. Other participating firms include Annie Barrett, The Principals, Kyle May, Hive Public Space, Schaum Shieh, FIRM a.d. and Practice.

Courtesy of Van Alen Institute Courtesy of Van Alen Institute Courtesy of Van Alen Institute Courtesy of Van Alen Institute + 18

Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

Future Expansion | Flatiron Reflection

Flatiron Reflection is designed for the personal and nearsighted experience, as well as the experience from a distance. The project is comprised of a bundle of metallic tubes that read as a massive column at the scale of the plaza. The bundled tubes create a fluted perimeter which allows for an individual to occupy the niches. “The glistening materials and choir-like sculptural formation will prompt passersby to engage with the art” states NYC DOT Assistant Commissioner of Design + Art + Wayfinding Wendy Feuer. To engage the plaza, the bundle opens in a c-shape for the plaza’s winter programming.

via Future Expansion
via Future Expansion
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

As you pass by the installation, the tubes reflect various soft reflections, light and shadow.  The various tubes fold together, making reflections that undulate between crisp and blurred as you walk by. Flatiron Reflection plays off of the visual noise in the heart of the Flatiron District, at Broadway, Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street. To promote activity in the plaza during the winter, the installation will remain on view until January 1, 2018.  

Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

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 explain Deirdre and Nicholas McDermott, principals of Future Expansion.

Future Expansion's "Flatiron Reflections" to Transform Flatiron Public Plaza For The Winter, Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
via Future Expansion
via Future Expansion

Annie Barrett | Flatiron Moon

Taking inspiration from the winter solstice around which so much of the holidays revolve, Annie Barrett’s proposal takes on moon-like forms. Perforated and expanded steel mesh creates a dynamic moire effect as you pass by the various phases of the moon.

Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

The Principals | Blur

As a political statement, Blur provides a shelter for locals, transplants and tourists alike under a single kaleidoscopic canopy to create a cultural synergy, feeding New York City’s vibrancy. The pavilion lights up in response to touch-sensitive donation bins, aiding in community-building and blurring of cultural lines.

Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

Kyle May | MIA

Creating an escape from the cold city winter, this proposal provides a lush garden with key views out of the pavilion highlighted. The innermost courtyard of the pavilion is lined with one-way mirrors to filter out the visual noise of the city.

Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

Hive Public Space | Winter Bloom

Winter Bloom is comprised of a series of motion-sensitive seats surrounding a central sculpture. As pedestrians interact with the seats, the light and color of the sculpture become more intense -- encouraging play.

Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

Schaum Sheih | The Iceberg and the Forest

Sited on the triangular 25-degree street corner, the design leverages the triangle by extracting eight 25-degree cone-shaped trees from the “iceberg” mass. The iceberg serves as a bold background for holiday programming in the plaza, while the trees and programmable lights add to the overall experience.

Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

Practice | SnoMad

Taking concrete jersey barriers, typically used to block and separate, and repurposing them to define an outdoor room within the plaza. The concrete barriers are arranged around a central focal point, creating a perceived density, with unexpected porosity.

Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

FIRM | Snomaxions

This formal family of four gathers in the Flatiron Plaza to represent diversity and unity. The sculptures’ geometry references snowflakes -- each unique, yet sharing a common structural logic.The translucent acrylic illuminates from inside, addressing “the role light plays in bringing people together during the dark winter months”.

Courtesy of Van Alen Institute
Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

To see photographs of the built installation throughout the winter, check out the hashtag #FlatironReflection where the Flatiron Partnership is encouraging passersby to share their photos.

To see previous year competition winners, click here

News via: Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership.

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Cite: Samantha Buckley. "Future Expansion's "Flatiron Reflections" to Transform Flatiron Public Plaza For The Winter" 04 Nov 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/882802/future-expansions-flatiron-reflections-to-transform-flatiron-public-plaza-for-the-winter/> ISSN 0719-8884
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Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

冬日幻境!纽约熨斗大厦广场将由 Future Expansion 打造装置艺术