“Our holiday installation is a tradition that evokes the wonder and joy of the season for those who live in, work in, and visit Flatiron,” said James Mettham, Executive Director of the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership. “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. We are proud to partner with Van Alen Institute and Hou de Sousa, and we invite visitors from near and far to visit Flatiron this season!”
“Hou de Sousa’s spectacular installation invites us to rethink how we interact with public space, and with one another,” said Deborah Marton, Executive Director, Van Alen Institute. “Through the clever use of transparent materials and open gateways, their design creates delightful and unexpected ways to connect with others. We’re thrilled to collaborate once again with the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership in this annual tradition to create inventive and imaginative visions for an iconic urban plaza.”
Composed of painted rebar and 27,000 feet of iridescent cord, Ziggy’s lightweight structure will dynamically filter its surroundings with shifting patterns, color, and light. Its winding form will frame views of the Flatiron District’s many attractions and landmarks, while also serving as seating for locals and visitors seeking a moment of rest. The structure will be installed on the Flatiron North Public Plaza at Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street, as part of the Partnership’s “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” programming. The installation is permitted through NYC DOT Art and will be open to the public daily, weather permitting.
“Ziggy is a polyvalent creature that strings together gateways, apertures, and seating,” said Josh de Sousa, Principal & Co-Founder of Hou de Sousa. “This porous wall will welcome folks arriving from all directions while ringing in the holiday season with a flourish of color and light.”
“This competition continues to demonstrate the importance of both public art and programming in DOT public plazas,” said NYC DOT Art & Event Programming Director, Emily Colasacco. “Hou de Sousa’s interactive, larger-than-life-size configuration will bring even more color to the already vibrant Flatiron District, and DOT is pleased to be part of the annual holiday transformation as we enter our sixth year as a partner.”
Hou de Sousa is a New York-based architecture, art, and design studio focused on culturally progressive and environmentally responsible projects that foster public engagement and creativity. Over the past two years, Nancy Hou and Josh de Sousa’s office has won open competitions and RFPs hosted by Google; Friends of the High Line; Georgetown BID; Socrates Sculpture Park; Dupont Underground; the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism; and the Architectural League of New York. The Ziggy project team also includes Powell Draper, Director of Operations at Schlaich Bergermann and Partner; Dan Bergsagel, Structural Engineer at Schlaich Bergermann and Partner; and steel fabrication by Brian Chu and Conor Coghlan, the Co-Founders of A05 Studio.
Since its inception in 2014, the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition has been a platform for the Partnership and Van Alen Institute to deepen their connections with emerging designers and engage with their local neighborhood. This year’s closed-call competition began in June, when the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen invited a selection of design and architecture firms to submit proposals. A jury with expertise across the worlds of design and public art, including representatives from the Flatiron Partnership and Van Alen’s Board of Trustees, reviewed proposals by Besler & Sons, Hou De Sousa, New Affiliates, Only If, and Worrell Yeung.
Sponsored by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, Ziggy and the accompanying programming “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” are made possible with generous support from Presenting Sponsor Meringoff Properties.
Hou de Sousa: Ziggy will be on view from November 18, 2019 to January 1, 2020 at the intersection of 23rd Street, Broadway and Fifth Avenue, in the shadow of the Flatiron Building.