Van Allen Flatiron Competition

Van Allen Flatiron Competition

The intersection at Broadway and Fifth Avenue detaches the southwest corner of the otherwise rectangular Madison Square Park, causing a triangular traffic island. For six weeks, The Grovewould be an abstract extension of the tree canopy onto this island—a phantom corner of the park.

The Grove is made up of off-the-shelf, unitized, reusable materials: reinforced aluminum posts, 2×4 beams, and exterior-grade theatrical scrim. The columnar structure evokes a grove of birch trees, while overlapping fabric flags mirror the tree canopy of Madison Square Park across the way. Interconnected, these lightweight elements work together to form a stable and strong structural system. Like the intertwined root systems of a tree grove, its sum is greater than its parts.

No attachment into the plaza is needed. No bulky ballast or sandbags are required to resist sliding, uplift, or overturning. The Grove is self-stabilizing, self-supporting, and structurally pure.

Location:New York, NY
Dates:2018
Program:Public Plaza
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