This summer, the courtyard of MoMA PS1 in Queens, New York will be transformed into a polygonal acid-trip of an architectural installation called Wendy, or, as Marc Kushner, one of its principal designers, describes it: “You know when you sprinkle MSG on food and flavor explodes? That is what Wendy is for us.” Kushner is a principal and partner of HWKN, this year’s winner of the much-coveted Young Architects Program competition, and will be responsible for leading the team building the crazy canopy, which will provide respite from the sun during PS1’s summer-long weekly Warm Up concert series. Taking a more buttoned-up perspective, Matthias Hollwich, Kushner’s partner at HWKN, explains that there is a “common thread [in our work], a balance between the rational and the banal—which could be called the grid—and the spectacle and the object-ness that is expressed through manipulation and formal exercises.”
Behind the din of architectural theory and dance music, the high-tech nylon skin shrouding Wendy’s matrix of expressive scaffolding serves a purpose greater than sun-shielding and whacked-out ambience. Treated with a titania nano-particle spray that neutralizes airborne pollutants via a photosynthetic process, Wendy will clean the air surrounding PS1—the equivalent of taking 260 cars off the road at any given time. Kushner explained that although sustainability may be de rigueur for modern architects, Wendy’s intent is not just to be ecological but also “to be visually legible [for] you to know you’ve experienced something different. We want architecture in America to become part of people’s consciousness again.”
And don’t worry, Wendy won’t impede dancing: its footprint accounts for less than one percent of PS1’s enormous courtyard. Warm Up 2012 begins July 7th and takes place every Saturday through September 8th. Stop by and say hello to Wendy.
Every year, MoMA PS1 asks a group of tastemakers to help curate their weekly, summer-long concert series, Warm Up. Here’s what they will be listening to when things heat up.
Robin Carolan, Tri Angle
Soundman & Don Lloydie, “Greater Love (T-Power Retro Grade ’n Motion Mix)”
Jonathan Galkin, DFA Records
John Talabot, Fin
Eliza Ryan, PS1
Sun Araw, M. Geddes Gengras and The Congos, “Invocation”
Matt Werth, RVNG
Kim Fowley, “Motorboat”