Architects HWKN have won this year’s MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architects Program competition and will install a giant spiky structure that cleans the air in the courtyard of the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Centre in New York.
Nylon fabric will be stretched across a grid of scaffolding to create the pointy arms of the installation, which is to be named Wendy.
This fabric will be treated with a spray that can neutralize pollutants in the air, such as car exhaust fumes.
Visitors will be able to climb up inside the huge structure, while those outside run the risk of being squirted by a water cannon hidden inside one of its arms.
Wendy is due to open at the end of June.
Last year a twisted rope canopy occupied the courtyard for the summer, while the year before visitors could take part in circus-style acrobatics.
Here's some more explanation from HWKN:
HWKN’S Wendy to Provide the Setting for the Warm Up Summer Music Series in the Courtyard of MoMA PS1
The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 announce HWKN (Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner, New York) as the winner of the annual Young Architects Program (YAP) in New York. Now in its 13th edition, the Young Architects Program at MoMA and MoMA PS1 has been committed to offering emerging architectural talent the opportunity to design and present innovative projects, challenging each year’s winners to develop creative designs for a temporary, outdoor installation at MoMA PS1 that provides shade, seating, and water. The architects must also work within guidelines that address environmental issues, including sustainability and recycling. HWKN, drawn from among five finalists, will design a temporary urban landscape for the 2012 Warm Up summer music series in MoMA PS1’s outdoor courtyard.
The winning project, Wendy, opening at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City in late June, is an experiment that tests how far the boundaries of architecture can expand to create ecological and social effect. Wendy is composed of nylon fabric treated with a ground breaking titania nanoparticle spray to neutralize airborne pollutants. During the summer of 2012, Wendy will clean the air to an equivalent of taking 260 cars off the road. Wendy’s boundary is defined by tools like shade, wind, rain, music, and visual identity to reach past the confines of physical limits. Wendy crafts an environment, not just a space. Spiky arms made of the nylon fabric mentioned above will reach out with micro-programs like blasts of cool air, music, water cannons and mists to create social zones throughout the courtyard. Wendy sits far enough away from the stage used for the annual Warm Up events to let the concerts go on unimpeded, but close enough to the entrance to create a filter and initial impact to visitors. It bridges over the walls into the large and small courtyards of MoMA PS1. Wendy features a simple, inexpensive construction system: the scaffold is deployed efficiently to create a 70’ x 70’ x 45’ volume to form the largest surface area possible.
“The jury was greeted with a particularly impressive group of proposals this year, all of which represented months of sustained research into problems both specific to a summer installation at MoMA PS1 and to new directions for architecture in terms of material research, ecological responses, and recyclability,” said Barry Bergdoll, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA. “HollwichKushner's design is at once based in emerging science of materials related to environmental cleansing—the material actually removes the carbon dioxide emissions produced by cars in Long Island City—but also on a zany quest for a space that is simply good fun. Even passengers on the elevated 7 train will feel compelled to head to MoMA PS1 to experience Wendy and figure out what in the world it can possibly be all about."
"HollwichKushner is proposing a monumental gesture in the MoMA PS1 courtyard that, in its dimension and volume, creates a dialogue with the, at the moment, currently installed geodesic dome,” added Klaus Biesenbach, Director of MoMA PS1 and Chief Curator at Large at MoMA. “While the dome hosts our winter series SUNDAY SESSIONS, Wendy will enhance the courtyard environment for our famed summer Warm Up series. The project is not only innovative but also visualizes ecological awareness and responsibility."
“HollwichKushner's proposal for YAP 2012 is sure to make a memorable impression over the summer at MoMA PS1,” said Pedro Gadanho, Curator in MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design. “It is iconic, but with a twist. By combining off-the-shelf materials and scaffolding systems with the latest cry in nanotechnology it is able to produce both an out-of-the-box ecological statement and a bold architectural gesture. It is economical and terse in terms of its design, and yet, through its positioning and scale, it also smartly projects different possibilities for use and social appropriation across the entire site where it sits—including the ability to reach out for those outside the museum's walls.” The other finalists for this year’s MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program were AEDS|Ammar Eloueini Digit-all Studio (Ammar Eloueini, Paris, France/New Orleans, LA), Cameron Wu (Cambridge, MA), Ibañez Kim Studio (Mariana Ibañez and Simon Kim, Cambridge, MA), and UrbanLab (Martin Felsen and Sarah Dunn, Chicago, IL). An exhibition of the five finalists' proposed projects will be on view at MoMA over the summer, organized by Barry Bergdoll, MoMA Philip Johnson Chief Curator, with Whitney May, Department Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art.