Decked out in a cheerful shade of yellow, “Happy” by Studio Cadena aspires to create a warm, welcoming space for all during the holiday season. The project was announced today as the winner of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute's fifth Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Competition, which seeks the best proposal for a fun, temporary installation in the heart of New York City's Flatiron District.
Studio Cadena was one of the eight firms invited to the closed competition. The other firms included: Agency—Agency; Brandt : Haferd; MODU; N H M D; Office III; P.R.O.; and Wolfgang & Hite.
“We all wish each other happiness during the holidays. This installation physically manifests this well wishing to all who visit Flatiron,” said Benjamin Cadena, Founder and Principal of Studio Cadena, in a statement. “In our otherwise bleak social and political context, it aspires to carve a small and more positive space in the city—it offers a warm embrace during the cold winter months.”
The installation features 24 softly shaped transparent vinyl screens that drape down from an open frame, creating an intimate gathering space while also providing an analog filter to see the city in a different light.
Gently swaying in the breeze, the screens shimmer and reflect while casting long, colored shadows in the low light of late fall and early winter. Amid the hustle and bustle of the holidays, Happy is “a simple device to make you stop, wonder, and most importantly, smile.”
Opening on November 19, “Happy” will be on public display every day at the Flatiron North Public Plaza — located at Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street — through January 1, 2019. The installation will also host the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership's “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” events throughout the season.
Check out the runner-up and finalist proposals in the gallery below!
The 2018 jury included:
Nick Athanail, The Corcoran Group, Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership board member
Michael Bierut, Partner, Pentagram
Jennifer Brown, Executive Director, Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership
Emily Colasacco, Summer Streets Event Director, New York City Department of Transportation
Ifeoma Ebo, Architecture, Urban Design & Policy, BlackSpace NYC
Ahmed ElHusseiny, Founder, AE Superlab
David van der Leer, Executive Director, Van Alen Institute
Aleksey Lukyanov-Cherny, Partner, SITU Studio
Nina Marren, Art Project Manager, New York City Department of Transportation
Deirdre McDermott, Partner, Future Expansion V.
Mitch McEwen, Van Alen Institute board member, Assistant Professor, Princeton University School of Architecture, and Partner, A(n) Office
All images courtesy of the Van Alen Institute.
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