Flatiron ushered in the winter holiday season Tuesday night by flipping the switch on a giant holiday installation destined to be a popular attraction in the weeks to come.
Positioned across the street from the famed Flatiron Building, the dynamic LED and mirror-paneled New York Light installation immediately invited opportunities for photos with the cityscape as a backdrop.
New York Light was selected as the winner of the first-ever, Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design Competition in September, an invite-only competition run by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute.
“This amazing piece of art celebrates the holidays and New York itself, lighting up the Flatiron North Public Plaza and paying tribute to its views of the city from this special vantage point for the tens of thousands of people who pass through the district each day,” said Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Executive Director, Jennifer Brown.
“This elegant yet cool installation will further stimulate interactions between locals and visitors in the increasingly vibrant Flatiron District,” said Van Alen Institute Executive Director, David van der Leer.
Designed by the Brooklyn-based INABA, New York Light illuminates the North Public Plaza at Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street as a backdrop for events. It also gives visitors a special view of the Flatiron building and the Madison Square skyline this season.
The design is the result of a collaborative effort by INABA, bengal.fierro, Tillotson Design Associates, Robert Silman Associates, Walsh Electrical Contracting Inc., DLC, International Lights, Crestron, Bartco Lighting, and Naho Kubota.
Created to echo the plaza’s namesake building, the installation frames the Flatiron Building to its south. At the other end, the steel tube installation faces north along Broadway, opening up to outline a view of the Empire State Building. Reflective panels hang from the artwork so visitors standing inside can see these views bordered by partial reflections of the plaza’s surroundings.
At night, twinkling LEDs illuminate the installation to create dramatic vantage points.
“The installation is meant to be a place to take in these qualities, as well as to appreciate all of the street activity day and night through its many reflective panels,” said Jeffrey Inaba, Founder of INABA.
Wendy Feuer, Assistant Commissioner of Urban Design, Art & Wayfinding, New York City Department of Transportation added, “The artwork not only complements the surrounding architecture, but enlivens the plaza for New Yorkers and visitors at this special time of year.”
New York Light anchors the Flatiron Partnership’s third annual “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer,” which kicks off Monday, December 1st with nearly three weeks of performances, holiday-themed walking tours, online contests, and family-friendly activities.
One of New York City’s marquee holiday events, “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” runs until Tuesday, December 23rd. The Flatiron Partnership also announced Tuesday night that it will celebrate the season of giving by giving back. Throughout the 23 days, the Flatiron Partnership will collect nonperishable food items at the North Public Plaza to donate to the Food Bank For New York City, as well as holding a virtual food drive online.
-Photography courtesy of Cameron Blaylock of Van Alen Institute