Wendy, by HWKN

HWKN: changing the sustainability ‘game’

The New York-based architecture duo define the new sustainability

Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner, co-founders of the architecture firm HWKN (an abbreviation of their last names), argue that sustainability is much more than energy-efficient fixtures and add-ons. The pair argue that they are they ones to usher in a new age of eco-consciousness in architecture. Speaking to Interview Magazine, Kushner said; “"What we should really be talking about is how to push so far that we change the game completely." "We know the limits, and have always respected them, but now we can push them further," added Hollwich.

The duo are the winning designers of the Museum of Modern Art/MoMA PS1's Young Architects Program. Their project, Wendy, will stand in PS1’s courtyard until September. The spiky blue construction takes its name from the 1967 The Associate song Windy, because it blows bursts of air and mist, providing clean cooling air to attendees of the summer party. And when it is dismantled the components will all be recycled. Wendy is constructed with a nylon fabric-coated spiky structure with a titania nanoparticle spray that cleans the air of pollution, a projected 260 cars worth during its summer stint. "Wendy shows exactly what we are about - the sustainability, the formal approach. This is the first time we're able to show that so sharply," says Hollwich. 

Winning the prize has helped to propel the careers of the two young architects. After seeing their award-winning design, developers of the Pines on Long Island’s Fire Island, which burned down last year, have approached the duo to work on rebuilding the venue. In addition, Uniqlo has also commissioned HWKN to design their New York pop-up shop.

Sustainable architecture is much more than efficiently produced construction components and saving on energy consumption. As HWKN demonstrate, buildings can be used to actually improve the surrounding environment. Phaidon’s new book on sustainable design Vitamin Green showcases the vast and innovative ways a product or building can be eco-conscious. It is available to buy in our online store now.