On an island full of rectangular buildings, the Flatiron Building’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 runner-up proposal for the 2016 Flatiron Holiday design competition 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.
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. It further proliferates its image, as the subject of and background for countless new photos during the Holiday Festival.