MoMA PS1: Wendy by HWKN Architects

MoMA’s PS1 is the collision of several different architectural programs and social functions.  The addition of a tall concrete wall attached to re-purposed elementary school divides the hectic street life of a neighborhood in Long Island City from a blaring techno concert/art gallery.  This is the scene that gives home to various massive and changing art and architectural installations, including “Wendy”.  Wendy is one of PS1’s rotating installations, which was featured in the summer of 2012.  The 56 foot-high structure is comprised of simple aluminum construction scaffolding and nylon fabric.  But in an attempt at developing a pro-active approach to architectural sustainability, Wendy’s titania nanopartical-treated fabric extracts and neutralizes the air pollution equivalent of up to 260 cars over the course of the summer.

The idea of Wendy is to develop a kind of alternate environment within and around the structure that is both architectural and artistic.  Aside from absorbing various airborne impurities, Wendy incorporates several other functions.  Wadeing and vapor pools cool the area within the structure and large fans blow mist from the ends of it’s arms, cooling-off spectators.  Arms also blast air, shoot water canons, and play music, reacting to and encouraging human interaction.  It also acts as a kind of a buffer zone from patrons entering the compound, to the hundreds of concertgoers within.  It can be seen looming over PS1’s walls from blocks away, acting as a beckon and icon for the exhibition.

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