Nova by SOFTlab was the winning proposal for the second annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition held by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID), and Van Alen Institute. The unveiling of the holiday installation kicked off the Partnership’s annual programming with “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” on Wednesday night, with local businesses joining in. Music by The Jazz Gallery filled the air, while attendees enjoyed small bites by ilili Box and sipped hot chocolate courtesy of Shake Shack. The popular Flatiron Prize Wheel was spinning, with a chance to win a prize from local businesses.
Nova utilizes the placement of scopes, which each point to a distinct landmark the Flatiron Building, Met Life Tower clock tower, Empire State Building, and other buildings in the area. By using a mix of optical materials, including 3M Dichroic Film, the design creates a human scale kaleidoscope. While we were there, kids of all ages were running through, and twirling around inside creating an array of colorful reflections.
The evening was filled with music from The Jazz Gallery
The competition, which began in July, invited five design and architecture firms to submit proposals. SOFT lab, the winning company, is located within the Flatiron District. The studio is involved in the design and production of projects across almost every medium, from digitally fabricated large-scale sculpture to interactive design, and immersive digital video installations.
Volunteers from the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership with the Flatiron Prize Wheel
“23 Days of Flatiron Holiday Cheer” runs from December 1-23, with free Holiday themed events. In addition to its many sponsors, the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, which is headquartered in the Flatiron building, announced their annual donation of $5,000 worth of books to the non-profit organization First Book, which distributes books to children in need throughout our five boroughs.
While the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership was kicking off their holiday installation, the Flatiron Building was paying tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks, with a giant projection of the Eiffel Tower, spanning 100 feet in height along the Broadway side of the building. The image, in the colors of the French flag, had the words running through it, “She is tossed by the waves but does not sink.”
Photograph by Karen Chang