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See the city through a ‘bundle of shimmering tubes’ near the Flatiron Building

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The winner of this year’s design competition, Flatiron Reflections, opens November 20th

Via Future Expansion

Flatiron is about to get just a little bit artier—and shinier—with a new seasonal installation, titled, appropriately Flatiron Reflection, by the Brooklyn-based design firm Future Expansion.

The winner of the fourth annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition, organized by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District and Van Alen Institute, Flatiron Reflection is designed to encourage “new experiences of the city, new modes of dwelling in the plaza, and new views of its context.” In more practical terms:

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 wavy effect of the tubes “create soft reflections that become clearer as you approach,” the release continues, as “indistinguishable shapes sharpen into hazy impressions of familiar landmarks.”

Like last year’s winner, a series of white arches and hammocks by LOT called Flatiron Sky-Line, Flatiron Reflection offers viewers a mix of social and more personal experiences. “The installation is designed for three scales of experience,” Future Expansion principals Deirdre and Nicholas McDermott explained in a statement. “[T]he 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.”

An anchor of the Flatiron Partnership’s holiday programming, the installation opens November 20 on the North Flatiron Public Plaza at the intersection of Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street. The piece will be open to the public daily through January 1, 2018.

In the meantime, it’s fun to consider the installations that could have been: ten architecture firms were invited to participate in the closed-call competition, including BAS, whose Flatiron Moon took the runner-up slot. Other intriguing possibilities: Winter Bloom, billed as a “series of motion-sensitive seats that circle in place around a central sculpture” designed by Hive Public Space; Snomaxions!, a “family of four abstract, colorful figures” intended to “anthropomorphize the iconic abstract forms of snowflakes,” by FIRM; and Blur, by The Principles, a political statement that would have used three polycarbonate cell walls to “shelter locals, transplants, and tourists under a single kaleidoscopic canopy.”