Liz DeWolf

For the second year, visitors to New York City's Flatiron Building will encounter a temporary holiday installation designed to frame views of the urban landscape. Organized by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District and Van Alen Institute, the Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design Competition tasks teams with designing an installation for the outdoor plaza during the holiday season. This year's winning installation is "Nova" by local studio Softlab. Brooklyn's Inaba designed last year's inaugural installation, "New York Light."

"Using a mix of optical materials, our design creates a human scale kaleidoscope, remixing the surrounding iconic buildings with color, light, and the reflections of pedestrians," said Softlab founder and principal Michael Szivos, Assoc. AIA, in a press release. "Although our design reads as an iconic and festive figure from above, the experience at the pedestrian level is very different. The exterior gives way to a crystal-like, mirror-surfaced interior that looks different from all sides."

Softlab won an invited competition, besting other New York firms Bureau V, Method Design, Sage and Coombe, and Studio KCA. The competition jury included Nicholas Athanail, an associate broker at the Corcoran Group and a board member of the Flatiron Partnership; Michael Bierut, a partner at Pentagram; Wendy Feuer, the assistant commissioner for Urban Design & Art at the New York City Department of Transportation; Jessica Healy, the project director for the USA Pavilion Expo Milano 2015 and a Van Alen board member; John Loercher, a project manager at Digifabshop; Jane Kojima, the deputy director of the Flatiron Partnership; Aleksey Lukyanov, a partner at Situ Studio; and David van der Leer, the executive director of the Van Alen Institute.

"Nova" will be on display for 23 days beginning Nov. 18.