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"Wendy by HWKN" at MoMA PS1

The winner of MoMA PS1's Young Architects Program is a kid-friendly lesson in the transformative power of imagination.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    HWKN's Wendy at MoMA PS1

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    HWKN's Wendy at MoMA PS1

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    HWKN's Wendy at MoMA PS1

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    HWKN's Wendy at MoMA PS1

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    HWKN's Wendy at MoMA PS1

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    HWKN's Wendy at MoMA PS1

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    HWKN's Wendy at MoMA PS1

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    HWKN's Wendy at MoMA PS1

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    HWKN's Wendy at MoMA PS1

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    HWKN's Wendy at MoMA PS1

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    HWKN's Wendy at MoMA PS1

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    HWKN's Wendy at MoMA PS1

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    HWKN's Wendy at MoMA PS1

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    HWKN's Wendy at MoMA PS1

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Architects Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner, of HWKN, creators of Wendy

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

HWKN's Wendy at MoMA PS1

Wendy, a visitor who's taken up residence in MoMA PS1's two courtyards for the summer, is, well, a breath of fresh air. Lest your kids envision a reincarnation of the Peter Pan character, let them know that this Wendy is something/someone even more magical: an enormous, mega-pointy 3-D star made of blue fabric that bursts through the scaffolding holding it together and peeks above the courtyard walls like a creature barely contained in a too-small cage. Most extraordinary of all, though, is what the architectural sculpture does: It cleans the very air around it. Designed by HWKN (Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner), the winners of this year's New Architects Program, Wendy is a microcosm of spiky components whose "skin" is coated with nanoparticles of titania, a cutting-edge material that binds and neutralizes airborne pollutants such as CO2 by turning them into cool puffs of mist and spraying, shooting, dripping droplets of water—a feat that makes it more akin to a living, breathing organism than any architecture we've seen before. Whether you climb up the steep metal steps to see the creature from the inside out or time your walk through the second courtyard so as to get soaked by an intermittent arc of a spray shower, or stand beneath one of Wendy's arms for a welcome blast of heady, rain forest--clean air, you'll get that Wendy really is all about a better environment—and more of an experience than a work to simply behold. And it works: Its presence will have the same effect on its environment as taking 260 cars off the road all summer. Note that families with children ages 3 and under may wish to visit the installation on any day but Saturday due to the loud sounds of Warm Up!, PS1's annual summer experimental-music, performance and DJ series, held in the main courtyard Saturdays from July 7 to September 8. Meanwhile, scroll through and enjoy the pictures of PS1's latest star.

"Wendy by HWKN" is on view at MoMA PS1 from Sun July 1 to Sat Sept 8. Free with suggested admission. All ages.

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