Young Architects Program

Wendy by HWKN

July 1, 2012—September 8, 2012

Wendy by HWKN. © MoMA PS1; Photo: Matthew Septimus.

Wendy by HWKN. © MoMA PS1; Photo: Loren Wohl.

Interior of Wendy by HWKN. © MoMA PS1; Photo: Matthew Septimus.

The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 announce HWKN (Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner, New York) as the winner of the annual Young Architects Program (YAP) in New York. Now in its 13th edition, the Young Architects Program at MoMA and MoMA PS1 has been committed to offering emerging architectural talent the opportunity to design and present innovative projects, challenging each year’s winners to develop creative designs for a temporary, outdoor installation at MoMA PS1 that provides shade, seating, and water. The architects must also work within guidelines that address environmental issues, including sustainability and recycling. HWKN, drawn from among five finalists, will design a temporary urban landscape for the 2012 Warm Up summer music series in MoMA PS1’s outdoor courtyard.

The winning project, Wendy, opening at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City on July 1, 2012, is an experiment that tests how far the boundaries of architecture can expand to create ecological and social effect. Wendy is composed of nylon fabric treated with a ground breaking titania nanoparticle spray to neutralize airborne pollutants. During the summer of 2012, Wendy will clean the air to an equivalent of taking 260 cars off the road.

Wendy’s boundary is defined by tools like shade, wind, rain, music, and visual identity to reach past the confines of physical limits. Wendy crafts an environment, not just a space. Spiky arms made of the nylon fabric mentioned above will reach out with micro-programs like blasts of cool air, music, water cannons and mists to create social zones throughout the courtyard.

Wendy sits far enough away from the stage used for the annual Warm Up events to let the concerts go on unimpeded, but close enough to the entrance to create a filter and initial impact to visitors. It bridges over the walls into the large and small courtyards of MoMA PS1.

Wendy features a simple, inexpensive construction system: the scaffold is deployed efficiently to create a 70’ x 70’ x 45’ volume to form the largest surface area possible.

The other finalists for this year’s MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program were AEDS|Ammar Eloueini Digit-all Studio (Ammar Eloueini, Paris, France/New Orleans, LA), Cameron Wu (Cambridge, MA), Ibañez Kim Studio (Mariana Ibañez and Simon Kim, Cambridge, MA), and UrbanLab (Martin Felsen and Sarah Dunn, Chicago, IL). An exhibition of the five finalists' proposed projects will be on view at MoMA over the summer, organized by Barry Bergdoll, MoMA Philip Johnson Chief Curator, with Whitney May, Department Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art.


(HollwichKushner) HWKN is a New York based architecture and design firm that specializes in architecture and branding. HWKN acts as incubator, location scout, producer, and developer, to ensure a project’s success. The firm’s work is a synthetic mix of progressive architectural concepts and pop culture that repurposes the best traditions of architecture for the contemporary client and their high-speed demands. HWKN’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Wallpaper*, Bauwelt, Architects Magazine, Dwell, Surface, Men’s Vogue, A+U, and many other publications. The partners have lectured at TED_U, TED_X Atlanta, PICNIC in Amsterdam and many other locations on the topics of architecture and branding, aging and social media. In 2009 the firm cofounded – the largest and fastest growing platform for architects to show their work to the world.

This year marks the fifteenth summer that MoMA PS1 has hosted a combined architectural installation and music series in its outdoor galleries, though it is only the thirteenth year of the Young Architects Program, which began in 2000. The inaugural project was an architecturally based installation in 1998 by an Austrian artist collective, Gelatin. In 1999, Philip Johnson’s DJ Pavilion celebrated the historic affiliation of MoMA PS1 and MoMA. The previous winners of the Young Architects Program are SHoP/Sharples Holden Pasquarelli (2000), ROY (2001), William E. Massie (2002), Tom Wiscombe / EMERGENT (2003), nARCHITECTS (2004), Xefirotarch (2005), OBRA (2006), Ball-Nogues (2007), WORKac (2008), MOS (2009), Solid Objectives - Idenburg Liu (2010), and Interboro Partners (2011).

A dedicated YAP International website,, will feature the selected proposals and designs from HWKN, winner of YAP IN New York, and as well as the winners of YAP MAXXI and YAP Chile. The website will also include an archive of past MoMA/MoMA PS1  finalists’ and winners’ proposals, interviews with the curators as well as installation videos. 

For the Young Architects Program 2012 selection process, MoMA and MoMA PS1 invited outside experts in the field of architecture, including architects, curators, scholars, and magazine editors, to nominate the finalists from a pool of approximately 25 candidates that included both recent graduates and established architects experimenting with new styles or techniques. After reviewing the candidates, five finalists were selected to present proposals to a panel composed of Glenn D. Lowry, MoMA Director; Kathy Halbreich, MoMA Associate Director; Peter Reed, MoMA Senior Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs; Barry Bergdoll, MoMA Philip Johnson Chief Curator, Department of Architecture and Design; Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA PS1 Director and MoMA Chief Curator at Large; Peter Eleey, MoMA PS1 Curator; Pippo Ciorra, Senior Curator, MAXXI Architettura; Jeannette Plaut, Director, YAP_Constructo; and Marcelo Sarovic, Director, YAP_Constructo


The 2012 Young Architects Program is sponsored by

Additional funding is provided by Bertha and Isaac Liberman Foundation, Jeffrey and Michèle Klein, and Agnes Gund.