Kaleidoscope-like holiday installation opens in Flatiron plaza

November 25, 2019

Photo by Cameron Blaylock

A bright and colorful public art installation has opened in front of the Flatiron Building just in time for the holiday season. Ziggy from New York-based firm Hou de Sousa was selected last week as the winner of the annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and the Van Alen Institute. The structure is made up of painted rebar and 27,000 feet of iridescent cord and allows visitors to walk through, sit down, and peek through its vibrant openings. “Hou de Sousa’s spectacular installation invites us to rethink how we interact with public space, and with one another, “Deborah Marton, Van Alen’s executive director, said. “Their design creates delightful and unexpected ways to connect with others.”

hou de sousa, ziggy, flatiron district

The installation, on display at Broadway, Fifth Avenue and 23rd Streets, is part of the neighborhood’s annual “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” holiday programming. For its sixth annual design contest, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute sought proposals for a “highly visible temporary landmark” in the heart of Flatiron. With its shimmering colors and shifting patterns, the art exhibit hits the mark.

Ziggy is a fitting centerpiece for our annual ’23 Days of Flatiron Cheer’ festivities and a vibrant kaleidoscopic beacon that will be a must-see destination this December,” James Mettham, the executive director of the Partnership, said in a press release.

hou de sousa, ziggy, flatiron district

hou de sousa, ziggy, flatiron district

Shaped like a wave, the installation “softly ricochets between the narrow bounds of its triangular site, effectively echoing the urban and architectural context while establishing a broad structural footprint,” according to the designers. The undulating form helps frame the Flatiron Building, along with other landmarks in the neighborhood.

Ziggy is a polyvalent creature that strings together gateways, apertures, and seating,” Josh de Sousa, principal of Hou de Sousa, said in a press release. “This porous wall will welcome folks arriving from all directions while ringing in the holiday season with a flourish of color and light.”

The installation will be on display until Jan. 1 of next year. For a chance to win prizes from local businesses, share images of Ziggy on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #ZiggyFlatiron.


All photos by Cameron Blaylock

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