The New York Times recently reported that over 40% of the buildings on the island of Manhattan wouldn’t be granted construction permits in 2017. Most of the culprits date back to the early 20th century when attitudes towards density, ceiling heights, column placement, and general living standards were different. This begs the question: what would modern iterations of New York’s signature structures look like today? Billed by the practice as “an obsessive-compulsive study of the city we love” HWKN’s New(er) York is a peculiar experiment that tackles this hypothetical.
Yesterday afternoon, inside the playground of MoMA PS 1, we met Wendy - HWKN’s temporary summer installation for the 2012 Young Architects Program. As an experiment in pushing the boundaries of what architecture can do in an urban environment, Wendy certainly makes an impression. Her blue spiky arms shoot passed the confines of PS 1′s courtyard walls, immediately attracting the attention and piquing the curiosity of those meandering along Jackson Street. Conceptualized as a storm, Wendy intends to challenge the public’s notion of what architecture should be, as the structure’s ecological function will actually clean the air. ”Wendy does not play the typical architecture game of ecological apology – instead she is pro-active,” explained HWKN.
More about Wendy after the break.