“Wendy” at the MoMA PS1 courtyard; All photos: Iwan Baan
By now, we hope you’ve met “Wendy”, the winner of the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program, in person and have basked in her cool presence, frolicked under her misting sprays and water jets, and, most importantly, breathed in the clean air that envelops her. After all, as much as she’s about summer fun and flash, Wendy is set on “redefining” the boundaries of architecture, which includes becoming a “proactive participant in the city’s ecology”. The project moves to accomplish this goal through the groundbreaking catalytic Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) technology that’s embedded in the folded blue fabric that comprises Wendy’s iconic star-burst form.
The titanium nanoparticle-infused spray that coats Wendy’s spiky dress draws NO2 from the air, neutralizing airborn pollutants to clean the sky above the PS1 courtyard. The question we’re left asking is why more architects aren’t applying this technology to their own designs, large or small?
Cristal Global has long been at the forefront of such technology, manufacturing a range of “depollutants” that enables all architecture to purify the air around it. The genius of the company’s patented CristalACTiV™ Photocatalytic Titanium Dioxide chemical technology lies in the ease with which it can be implemented–as in mixed or added to paint or building materials–and maintained–the product is self-cleaning, resisting dirt adhesives that are left to wash away with the rain. These benefits, however, do not undermine the product’s inherent effectiveness, which has been tested and proven to actively neutralize harmful Nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the atmosphere. Continue.
Given its easy integration onto new and existing buildings, the possibilities for application are seemingly endless. The ecological problems that face civilization today dictate that the built environment be more proactive in anticipating and curtailing unsustainable design and practices that work to further exacerbate the fragile environmental balance now in place. In doing so, new social spaces can also be unlocked and opened, expanding the nature of urbanism from its current definition. Simply put, Buildings should do more than look pretty, and the CristalACTiV™ system is one way to go about achieving that goal.
But back to Wendy. This Sunday, July 15, the architects behind the installation–Architizer-sister company Hollwich-Kushner (HWKN)–will moderate a panel discussion in the PS1 courtyard about what makes Wendy work. The event is part of a “Science Fair” that will explore how Wendy does what she does, namely, cleaning the atmosphere around her.
“Cristal is a proud sponsor of Wendy. We are a leading provider of catalytic Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) technology, including photocatalytic technology which can be used in coatings, concrete, ceramics and other construction materials to depollute the air, create self-cleaning surfaces and combat bacteria. With the use of photocatalytic TiO2, Wendy is an example of environmentally proactive architecture and progressive green design and construction.” –Brian Pickett, Director, Performance Chemicals for Cristal Global