HWKN scoops coveted MoMA PS1 Young Architects prize with air-cleansing nylon star
Brooklyn-based HWKN (HollwichKushner) has been selected as winner of the 2012 Young Architects Program at MoMA PS1, one of the top discovery venues for up and coming designers. Along with the publicity blitz that comes with winning, HWKN will get the opportunity to transform PS 1’s courtyard to ready it for the museum’s popular summer music series Warm-Up. Now in its thirteenth year, the Young Architects Program has launched the careers of many emerging architects and the courtyard installations that have resulted, have been nothing short of amazing. This year’s proposal, Wendy, by HWKN is one of the most visually arresting of all and sure to be a favourite among environmentalists.
Dubbed an ‘air-cleansing nylon star’ by New York Times arts writer, Robin Pogrebin, Wendy features a deployable scaffolding systems composed of nylon fabric treated with a ‘cutting-edge’ titania nanoparticle spray that will neutralize pollutants. It is estimated that Wendy’s air-cleaning ability is equivalent to taking 260 cars off the road. Its bright blue spiky arms reach out with micro-programs like blasts of cool air, music, water cannons and mists to create social zones throughout the courtyard. When fully deployed, the structure creates a 70’ x 70’ x 45’ volume that’s bridges over the walls into the museum’s large and small courtyards.
“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”.
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.