Winner unveiled for Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition

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The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) and Van Alen Institute unveiled LOT’s Flatiron Sky-Line, the winner of the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition, the third annual competition of its kind, which called for proposals from New York City designers for a temporary installation in the heart of the Flatiron District. Flatiron Sky-Line will be the centerpiece of the Partnership’s annual holiday programming and a highly visible landmark in this thriving New York City neighborhood.

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Flatiron Sky-Line is a series of ten large contiguous arches constructed of white powder-coated steel tubes with LED lights. Hammocks suspended from the arches allow visitors to relax and gaze upon the district’s architectural sights. LOT, an architectural and design firm based in New York City and Greece and directed by principals Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis, has developed an array of projects across the world, ranging from objects and installations to interior spaces and buildings, including showrooms, lofts, and sculptural displays. Flatiron Sky-Line will be the firm’s first large-scale public installation in New York City.

“Flatiron Sky-Line creates a dynamic new social space underneath its illuminated arches. The structure invites visitors to walk within and around it, gaze through it toward the skyline, and experience the Flatiron District’s surroundings through a unique lens,” said Leonidas Trampoukis. “The simplicity of the design draws in passersby and inspires them to savor this iconic intersection.”

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The installation will remain on view to the public on the North Flatiron Public Plaza at Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street through the holidays as part of the Partnership’s “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” programming. The installation is permitted through NYC DOT Art and is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., daily, weather permitting.

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The closed-call competition began in June 2016, when the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute—a non-profit organizer of design competitions, public programs, and research—invited five design and architecture firms to submit proposals. Invited firms were: Architensions; Büro Koray Duman Architects; Freeland Buck; LOT; and Young & Ayata.

A jury with expertise across the worlds of design and public art, including representatives from the Flatiron Partnership and Van Alen Institute’s board of trustees reviewed the proposals.

“This installation is the culmination of three rewarding years of collaboration between Van Alen Institute and the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership on the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition,” said David van der Leer, Executive Director of Van Alen Institute. “The initiative has become a valuable platform for launching new practices, and a visible celebration of inventive, temporary designs in public space as a way to bring people together, even during colder months.”

Throughout the holidays, the Partnership is encouraging visitors to use the hashtag #FlatironSkyLine on Twitter and Instagram to share images of the installation and be entered into a contest to win prizes from local businesses.

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Competition Jury Members
Nicholas Athanail, The Corcoran Group and Flatiron Partnership board member; Natasha Jen, Partner, Pentagram; Wendy Feuer, Assistant Commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation Design + Art + Wayfinding; Jessica Healy, Van Alen board member; Michael Szivos, SoftLAB; Jennifer Brown, Executive Director, Flatiron Partnership; Aleksey Lukyanov-Cherny, Partner, SITU Studio; David van der Leer,
Executive Director, Van Alen Institute; and, Sherry Dobbin, Director, Times Square Arts.

Photography | LOT

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Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at