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HWKN’s Eco-Friendly ‘Wendy’ Wins MOMA PS1 Young Architects Program

“Wendy does not play the typical architecture game of ecological apology,” say the architects of their boundary-pushing pavilion, shown here in a rendering.

Who’s tripping down the streets of the city, smilin’ at everybody she sees? Who’s reachin’ out to neutralize an airborne pollutant? Everyone knows it’s Wendy! That’s right, fans of emerging architectural talent, the spiky and proactive creation of New York-based HWKN (Hollwich Kushner) has been declared the winner of this year’s MOMA PS1 Young Architects Program, besting finalists Ammar Eloueini of AEDS Ammar Eloueini Digit-all Studio (Paris and New Orleans), Martin Felsen and Sarah Dunn of UrbanLab (Chicago), and the solid Cantabrigian (Massachusetts) contingent: Mariana Ibañez and Simon Kim of I|K Studio and Cameron Wu.

Now in its thirteenth year, the Young Architects Program program challenges each year’s winners to develop creative designs for a temporary, outdoor installation at MoMA PS1 that provides shade, seating, and water. HWKN’s “Wendy,” which will debut in Long Island City in late June, is composed of nylon fabric treated with a nifty titania nanoparticle spray to neutralize airborne pollutants. This summer, Wendy will clean the air to an equivalent of taking 260 cars off the road. “Wendy crafts an environment—not just a space,” note the architects of their 5,000-square-foot creation. “Spikey arms reach out with micro-programs like blasts of cool air, music, water canons, and mists to create social zones throughout the courtyard.” And speaking of summery social zones, HWKN also was recently tapped to design a new entertainment complex to replace the Fire Island dance club, Pavilion, that burned down last year. The firm is collaborating with Diller Scofidio + Renfro on the project.

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