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New York Light by INABA Illuminates Flatiron Plaza

On Tuesday, November 25th, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute were joined by Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer and over a hundred attendees to celebrate the lighting of the dynamic LED and mirror-paneled New York Light by INABA. The installation is sited in front of the famed Flatiron Building for the 2014 winter holiday season. New York Light was selected as the winner of the first-ever Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design Competition in September. The evening's festivities also previewed "23 Days of Flatiron Cheer" with hot tea compliments of DAVIDsTEA, a performance from The PIT and the always popular Flatiron prize wheel stocked with premiums from local businesses.

New York Light illuminates the North Public Plaza - at Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street - as a backdrop for events, and gives visitors a special view of the Flatiron building and the Madison Square skyline this season. The design is the result of a collaboration between the Brooklyn-based 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, inviting opportunities for photos with the city in the background.

“The Flatiron Plaza is one of the few places where it’s possible to truly experience the magnificence of Manhattan’s urban plan. And it’s a unique spot in the heart of the city where the sky and skyline can be seen from street level,” said Jeffrey Inaba, Founder of INABA. “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.”

"We’re very interested in the way public art can transform a familiar landscape into a new way for people to experience the city. When we saw the design for this installation, we knew we wanted to be part of it. We were excited by the challenge of devising a fabrication solution that would blend the piece into the environment. The ultimate result is an installation of mirror-polished components that reflect the city in a dazzling kaleidoscope of light and color. It’s a lively addition to the Flatiron District this holiday season and we’re proud to be part of it,” added Tomer Bengal and Carlos Fierro, Partners at bengal.fierro.

“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,” saidFlatiron/23rd Street Partnership Executive Director Jennifer Brown.

“Activating public spaces through design has been at the core of our work for years,” said Van Alen Institute Executive Director David van der Leer. “This elegant yet cool installation will further stimulate interactions between locals and visitors in the increasingly vibrant Flatiron District."

“We are pleased to partner once again with the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and a new partner, the Van Alen Institute, to present this spectacular light installation for the holiday season with the Flatiron Plaza,” said Wendy Feuer, Assistant Commissioner, Urban Design, Art & Wayfinding, New York City Department of Transportation. “The artwork not only complements the surrounding architecture, but enlivens the plaza for New Yorkers and visitors at this special time of year.”

In July, seven artists and architecture firms were invited to submit proposals for this year’s installation. Proposals were reviewed by a jury with expertise in design and public art, including representatives from the Flatiron Partnership and Van Alen Institute’s Board of Trustees.

Sponsored by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” is also made possible with generous support from Presenting Sponsors Tiffany & Co. and Meringoff Properties, Contributing Sponsors Grey Group and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

Photo by Cameron Blaylock. Courtesy of Van Alen Institute.

Download the press release in pdf here.


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