Architects: Matthias Hollwich and Mark Kushner’s (HKWN), USA
Location: MoMA Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
HWKN, the New York based architecture office of Marc Kushner and Matthias Hollwich, has won the final round of MoMA PS1’s Young Architects’ Program. They’re the 13th winners of the program, which honors a young practice by inviting them to design and build an outdoor installation in the courtyard of MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens. The installations engage and cool the crowds of New Yorkers who flock to PS1 every summer for the center’s popular concert series, Summer Warm Up.
The winning design proposes a massive network of scaffolding on the site, supporting thousands of yards of a high-tech PVC-based fabric treated with Titania nanoparticles. This stretchy blue fabric is the first of its kind: it “scrubs” air of pollution, using a technology developed by British designer Helen Storey and scientist Tony Ryan.
HKWN’s proposal – which they name “Wendy” — is based on a simple equation: increase the amount of fabric on site and increase the air quality in the surrounding neighborhood. With that single-minded goal as a guide, the young office maximized every element of the design to increase the fabric’s surface area, giving Wendy her sure-to-be-iconic “starburst” shape. Programmatic zones sprout from her spindly blue arms – there are water cannons, an elevated DJ nook, as well as wading and misting zones. The office estimates that Wendy’s good deeds HKWN’s introduction of an ecological structure that filters air pollution is groundbreaking. WENDY is a revolutionary step for architecture, by changing how architecture impacts our environment, and is one that architects should take note of. HKWN are still a young architecture firm, but undoubtedly have the potential to become the next big players in New York’s architecture and design industry.
Technical info: High-tech PVC-based fabric
Picture credits: HKWN, Jessy Anne, Micheal Moran