Our finalist proposal for the 2016 Flatiron Holiday design competition run by the Van Alen Institute augments the iconic view of Flatiron Building. On an island full of rectangular buildings, the Flatiron’s knife-edge geometry, distorted by the acute angle of Broadway, has made it iconic. This distortion is rare in the city but common in images of the city; panoramas and wide-angle photos often make right angles look acute. The building is so impossibly thin that it resembles an image made real.
Our proposal is a collection of fractured, varied views of the Flatiron building imprinted on layers of translucent fabric and superimposed to create a structure and a festive gathering space.
The Flatiron was completed the year after the release of the first mass-market camera by Kodak, and the dissemination of photographs of the building, looking up at its prow have helped to create its iconic status. It exists as both reality and representation. Our proposed installation is similarly caught between reality and representation.
Unfolded Projection Drawings
Replacing a single point-of-view with many different angles, the structure acknowledges the ubiquity of images in contemporary culture by presenting many different ways of seeing the building, condensing what makes the building so visually fascinating, Flatiron City further proliferates its image, as the subject of and background for countless new photos during the Holiday Festival.
Printed Fabric Mockup
Project team: David Freeland, Brennan Buck, Takayuki Tachibe, Belinda Lee, Sarasvati Segura, James Woodrow Bergstrom, Chenming Jiang