The iconic Flatiron Building on the corner of 5th Avenue and Broadway in downtown Manhattan once stood as the tallest building in the city.
Built in 1902, the building was recently the subject of a competition which was won by a husband-wife team of Greek architects Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis of the LOT stricture firm.
The project, in its third year, was organized by the Van Alen Institute and the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and aimed to “design and build a highly visible temporary landmark at the heart of the Flatiron District that is the centerpiece of the Partnership’s annual holiday programming,” according to the Van Alen website.
The installation is composed of arches and as described on the competition’s website details “White net hammocks hanging from each of the arches,” that “invite the public to embrace the Flatiron Plaza skyline and immerse into the constructed tranquility of the Flatiron Plaza – skyline gazing, socializing, contemplating, and experiencing the surroundings.”
Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis are the owners of the LOT Architectural and Design Firm which has offices in both Thessaloniki and New York and recognition from winning the competition has created a sense of pride as well as new opportunities for the firm as the video presentation of the project has brought in some 7 million views thus far.
“We and another eight American firms took part in the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition organized by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District and Van Alen Institute, whose aim is to create a temporary landmark in the heart of the district, a focal point for holiday events. And we came first,” Trampoukis told the Greek newspaper Kathimerini.
All of the proposals submitted were looked over by a jury with expertise in the area of architecture and design, including representatives from the Partnership and Van Alen Institute’s Board of Trustees.
Even though they have had much success in the U.S., Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis haven’t turned their backs on their native Greece, as they explained: “We’ve invested in an international career, but not once have we stopped believing in our country,” adding, “Things are not easy in Greece, but we refuse to live our life complaining and being pessimistic. We will keep fighting our battles.”
Their latest project is in Greece and is the Nolita restaurant located at the Semiramis Hotel in Kifissia, a northern suburb of Athens.
The installation of ‘Flatiron Sky-Line’ opened to the public on Monday, November 21, on the North Flatiron Public Plaza at Broadway, Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street and will remain on view through the holiday season.