Amid the sparkling holiday decorations that will soon bedeck New York City, one thing not to pass up is "Nova" at the Flatiron District. Designed by locally based SOFTlab, the colorful crystalline pavilion was the winner of the Van Alen Institute and the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership's Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design competition.
The invited teams — which included Bureau V, Method Design, Sage and Coombe, Studio KCA, and SOFTlab — were tasked with designing a temporary installation to be built at the center of the Flatiron District during the holiday season.
If you're going to be in NYC anytime soon, Nova will open to the public on Wednesday, November 18 at the North Flatiron Public Plaza (at Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street). The pavilion will be a central space for the Partnership's annual holiday programming — and of course, for the public to gather at and enjoy.
SOFTlab shared more details behind their proposal right below.
"In Nova, the placement of scopes, or viewing cones, is arranged to represent a centralized proverbial North Star for the Flatiron District, with each scope pointing to a distinct landmark. In effect, Nova acts as an observatory for the 'constellation' of iconic sites in the neighborhood: the Flatiron Building, Met Life Tower clock tower, Empire State Building, and surrounding landmarks."
'Using a mix of optical materials, our design creates a human scale kaleidoscope, remixing the surrounding iconic buildings with color, light, and the reflections of pedestrians,' stated Michael Szivos, founder and principal at SOFTlab. 'Although our design reads as an iconic and festive figure from above, the experience at the pedestrian level is very different. The exterior gives way to a crystal-like, mirror-surfaced interior that looks different from all sides.'
'Design is always about creating magical experiences, and we’re excited to see 3M materials inspire SOFTlab to connect imagination with space and community for this year’s winning Flatiron installation,' said Eric Quint, Chief Design Officer at 3M. 'Collaborative creativity is what sparks ongoing new possibilities in our world of design; the Nova project demonstrates this, transforming 3M optical materials for safety and light management into a new context of art and architecture in the heart of the Flatiron District.'
"When complete, Nova will compel passersby to enter the crystalline structure and gaze onto Flatiron’s iconic landmarks, framed by apertures in the installation’s exterior."
The 2015 jury included:
- Nicholas Athanail, The Corcoran Group and Flatiron Partnership board member
- Michael Bierut, Partner, Pentagram
- Wendy Feuer, New York City Department of Transportation Urban Design & Art
- Jessica Healy, USA Pavilion Expo Milano 2015 and Van Alen board member
- John Loercher, Digifabshop
- Jane Kojima, Deputy Director, Flatiron Partnership
- Aleksey Lukyanov, Partner, Situ Studio
- David van der Leer, Executive Director, Van Alen Institute
All images courtesy of SOFTlab.
More project images in the thumbnails below.
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