Installation on Flatiron Pedestrian Plaza debuts for the holidays

On Monday night, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership (BID) celebrated the launch of “23 Nights of Flatiron Cheer,” an upcoming series of free events at the pedestrian plaza with the unveiling of “Flatiron Reflection,” an architectural installation. The installation was created by the firm Future Expansion, the winner of a design competition held by local nonprofit Van Alen. (Pictured L-R) Nicholas McDermott and Deirdre McDermott of Future Expansion; Jessica Lax, Van Alen Institute; Emily Colasacco, NYC DOT Art; Isabel Meisner, Van Alen Institute; Jennifer Brown, Flatiron BID; Jorge Parreira, New Motor; Kurt Cavanaugh, Flatiron BID; Amanda Eldridge, GMS; David Messineo and Stephanie Darna, New Motor

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The weather was appropriately windy and wintry for the kickoff of the Flatiron BID’s annual holiday festivities, known as the “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” on Monday.

The series, offering free performances, fitness sessions, prizes and hot beverage giveaways, officially begins on December 1, but the launch this week gave a preview of the offerings to come and also served as the debut of the newest art installation on the north Flatiron Plaza, “Flatiron Reflections.”

The installation is the result of a design competition hosted by local non-profit Van Alen and the installation is allowed on the plaza through the Department of Transportation Art program. This is the fourth year the plaza has been a location for public art through the DOT program, and the winning submission was created by Future Expansion, an architecture firm in the Flatiron neighborhood.

“We hope that the installation opens new possibilities for interaction and experiences while reinforcing the pure public essence of the site,” said Deirdre McDermott, a principal at the firm.

“Flatiron Reflection,” designed by Future Expansion (Photo courtesy of Flatiron BID)

The piece is a bundle of reflective, silver tubes arranged in fragmented columns and the cut-out in the middle gives pedestrians an opportunity to have a more isolated view of the nearby Flatiron building. The project is meant to be viewed both up close and from far away, while the reflections change the appearance of surrounding buildings and trees from a distance.

The installation, which will be on the plaza through January 1, also acts as a centerpiece for the upcoming holiday activities, which includes free morning fitness classes on Wednesdays and featured recipes from local chefs released every Tuesday, as well as the prize wheel, free beverages and other activities on the North Public Plaza. There will also be free performances on Fridays from noon to 4 p.m. from The Peoples Improv Theater and others. The BID will also be giving away tote bags every Saturday with coupons to local businesses. The BID will be also accepting food donations throughout the 23 days of the event to support the Food Bank of New York City.

Specific activities throughout the month include an event hosted by Sony Square NYC, offering the chance to experience virtual reality products and other gift ideas from PlayStation, as well as a celebration of the winter solstice on the shortest day of the year, December 21, with the Museum of Mathematics, from 4 to 8 p.m.

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