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FE046.
Flatiron Reflection

Flatiron Reflection is Future Expansion’s winning entry for the 2017 Flatiron Holiday Installation competition. The project is on site in Manhattan from November 20th until New Years Day.


Flatiron Reflection is inspired by the columnar organization of the Flatiron Building. In the proposal, a bundle of shimmering tubes creates a column fragment at the scale of the public plaza. The fluted perimeter makes occupiable niches while a panoramic central space opens out into the plaza.


Growing up, a print of Edward Steichen’s famous photograph ‘Flatiron Building’ hung above my parents’ bed. In the picture the building looms over Madison Square Park like a huge black column, its rounded corners clearly visible, pushing it forward into the city. Knowing the image in that setting, long before I saw the building in person, domesticated it. It created a familiarity of the building tinged by the haunting beauty of the photograph.


From a distance the folds create soft reflections that clarify as you approach. Indistinguishable shapes become landmarks. And as with the Steichen photograph, the Flatiron Building, now multiplied and mirrored, boldly emerges from the haze.




A white shadow line traces around the installation. The matte surface below catches subtle plays of light and dark, while the reflective surface above captures changes in color and tone. Bluish wintery hues by day turn pink and gold at sunset.




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Client: Van Alen Institute, Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership

Location: Manhattan, NY

Status: Temporary Installation (Nov-Dec 2017)

Fabrication: The New Motor

Engineering: GMS

Photographs: Noah Kalina