This month, MoMA PS1 opens Wendy, the winning entry to its 2012 Young Architects Program. The entrants were expected to contribute a design for an outdoor recreational space in the MoMA PS1’s triangular entrance courtyard – a popular concert venue during the summer. The objective also involved making the most of available space and materials – and the winning entry, along with the finalists, approaches the brief in very distinctive ways.
Moment by AEDS, for example, works from the notion that the courtyard is a sanctuary from the harsh urban world; little cabana structures provide seating and shade for individuals or groups, while the perforations in the walls visually link up to the other cabanas around it. Cameron Wu’s Coney Inland, meanwhile, aims to emphasise MoMA PS1’s Long Island City location – celebrating the sky and its importance as a local, beachy retreat of the structures namesake for New Yorkers. Ibanez Kim Studio uses different triangular and other geometric planes to arrange and coordinate space. Urban Lab’s Virtual Water, meanwhile, arises from a wish to collect and retain the rainfall that would fall on this courtyard and otherwise go completely to waste. Instead, Urban Lab’s design includes a “Living Machine” that uses plants to clean rainwater, a bio-filtered Splash Pool, and a Reflecting Pool Lounge – which would certainly make for a refreshing getaway from a sizzling New York summer.
Wendy, however, appears to go one environmental step further; the structure supports large amounts of blue nylon fabric treated with titania nanoparticle spray – capable of neutralising airborne pollutants. It thereby aims to clean the air to the equivalent of taking 260 cars of the road, and in the meantime, treats visitors to blasts of air, music, and mist via Wendy’s “spiky arms”. Pretty cool.