The winners of this year’s Young Architect Award, sponsored by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and MoMA PS1 exhibition space, will introduce “Wendy” to the world this summer. MoMA annually offers architects the chance to develop creative designs for a temporary, outdoor installation that provides shade, seating, water and a sustainability component. This year’s winners, HWKN (Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner), composed a spiky urban landscape composed of nylon fabric treated with a titanium oxide (TiO2) spray that neutralizes airborne pollution.
TiO2 incorporated into outdoor building materials, such as paving stones (called noxer blocks), paints and coatings can substantially reduce concentrations of airborne pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NO and NO2, also called NOx) and volatile organic compounds. In addition to serving as a setting for the 2012 Warm Up summer music series in the MoMA PS1 outdoor courtyard in Long Island City, N.Y., Wendy will remove pollutants equivalent to those generated by 260 cars. Wendy will reach out to audiences with her fabric-clad arms to produce programmed blasts of cool air, music and mists to create social zones throughout the courtyard. The fabric points are deployed on a simple construction scaffold defining an area of 220,500 cubic feet.