Johnny Rotten’s spikes have nothing on JDS Architects’ VM House. Photo of John Lydon, 1976, by Ray Stevenson/Rex USA Studded leather jackets and spiked colors are back, thanks to the Metropolitan Museum’s highly publicized “Punk: Chaos to Couture” show, which opens tomorrow in New York City. And while we know that punk constitutes much more than …Continue Reading
“Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi”
If you follow Architizer on Instagram (which you totally should) then you’ll have noticed I’ve been in Abu Dhabi and documenting all the architectural gems I came across there. I was in the Emirate for a week because the Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan arranged to transport and install Wendy, HWKN‘s winning entry for the 2012 Young Architects Program at MoMA PS1.
When weren’t on the corniche with Wendy 2.0, we were out and about admiring the fantastic contemporary architecture that the UAE has to offer. Between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it’s like an architectural petting zoo of mammoth proportions. Let me know what you think – and if I missed anything! Click through to see the images from my travels.
“Wendy lands in Abu Dhabi”
“Wendy in Abu Dhabi!”
“Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi”
“Last from the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi”
“Winding down our Abu Dhabi tour with Yas Hotel by Asymptote”
“The best high rise you haven’t heard of— Liwa Tower by Oosterhuis”
“Windows and screens” at Masdar City
“Abu Dhabi pattern-scraper”
“Infinity Tower by SOM in Dubai— stands out from the crowd!”
“Scallops by Sir Norman Foster”
“Now that’s a bridge. Looking up at O-14 tower by Reiser + Umemoto in Dubai”
“I see your pink facade and raise you a mansard roof. Dueling facades in Abu Dhabi.”
“Shams solar power plant in Abu Dhabi”
“Shams solar plant”
All images courtesy of Marc Kushner
Wendy, everyone’s favorite architectural avatar, is back! The spiky blue installation has relocated from the MoMA PS1 courtyard in Long Island City, New York to Abu Dhabi—we’re picturing an Indiana Jones-map montage right now—where she is headlining the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. Armed with upgrades and powered by solar energy, Wendy 2.0 takes her air-cleaning powers and sunny disposition abroad to the Emirate, where she fits right at home. Click through for more!
The installation was designed by Architizer sister-firm Hollich Kushner (HWKN), who rebuilt the structure from scratch for its international debut. Presented by the Sheikha Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation with Masdar, Abud Dhabi’s renewable energy tech house, Wendy 2.0 gave the architects the opportunity to make the generational leap with their original design—a rarity in architecture, says HWKN co-principal Matthias Hollwich. The new and improved Wendy comes with an upgraded scaffolding system, some structural innovations, and enhanced water cannons and misters. Additionally, Masdar—the same Masdar which commissioned Norman Foster to design an eco-city—is supplying the solar power that will take the installation completely off-the-grid.
But don’t worry, Wendy is still very much the same as when we left her. The star-cluster shape is as exuberant as ever, and the titania nanofilm-coated fabric just as functional. The installation’s rapid and faithful reproduction may point to a new horizon of architectural production, one that mirrors and is even in sync with other markets, as in the cycles for cell phones and software. For now, the architects hope that this second iteration of Wendy will help spread their message of a proactive, fun, and eco-friendly architecture. “Wendy 2.0 is an opportunity to touch an even broader audience,” says HWKN co-principal Marc Kushner, “and raise awareness about the potential of the architecture that surrounds them.”
Wendy 2.0, Abu Dhabi, will stand through February 6.
CCTV Tower by OMA, completed in May; Photo: Iwan Baan It would be strange to say that architecture had a good year in 2012. Architects, as a professional workforce, couldn’t have started the year off at a greater disadvantage, what with the continued stalling or entire cancellation of projects shrinking the job market. Naturally, these
Wendy; Photo: Michael Moran/OTTO ©
Summer is winding down, and with it comes the end of Wendy’s installation at the MoMA PS1 courtyard. The project, which has proved exceedingly popular among crowds of concert-goers, tourists, and neighbors alike, will end its run in just over a week’s time on September 8, after which the giant blue structure will be dismantled and removed from the site. Given Wendy’s large scale–the scaffolding encloses a 70’ x 70’ x 45’ volume–it would seem that the removal would leave sizable scars on the courtyard floor, and would have done so, if a more traditional (and more expensive) foundation system had been laid to tie the structure to the ground. Wendy’s sturdy foundation, however, is comprised of just 65 giant ground screws, each of which can be as easily and quickly removed as they had been inserted (the site was prepped and the screws drilled in under 5 hours this past May).
Krinner ground screws provided team Wendy with what they needed the most: a high-quality, sustainable foundation that could be efficiently installed. The screws form advanced foundation systems that are highly effective and affordable, without any of the mess or expense of a dug substructure–ideal for temporary and small structures, be it this year’s MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program winner, event tents, or a home addition. Continue.
In the case of Wendy, Krinner drilled 65 6-foot long screws into the bed of the PS1 courtyard, each of which was rated with a compressive capacity of 7875 lbs. and an uplift capacity of 4838 lbs. Despite the rainy conditions on day 1 of construction, the team quickly arranged the screws in a grid to which the massive cubic scaffolding structure was subsequently anchored. The screws keep Wendy grounded, whatever blustery weather befalls her, and so prove crucial to to installation’s stated purposes of fun and clean air.
31 Phillip Lim; Photo: SFDS
“We’ve poured 17 tons of concrete and had it cured in 24 hours,” says Eric Winston, founder of SFDS Fabrication & Design Shop, listing one of the many large-scale, rapidly-built projects the Greenpoint-based fabricators have daringly taken on with success. Speaking with Winston, you’ll find he likes to categorize his work according to two factors: “craziness” and “difficult”. That project a pop-up beton runway for Phillip Lim, ranks somewhere among the shop’s top “craziest” endeavors–rightly so, given the sheer mass of material and the speed with which it was manipulated and set. But it pales in comparison to what he calls the most mental project–both in terms of crazy and technical difficulty–he’s worked on, Pier 40. SFDS built the 150,000 square-feet structure in just 4 1/2 weeks–in the dead of winter, no less–completely wired with electrical and plumbing systems, enclosed with walls and custom windows, and furnished with red carpet.
Pier 40; Photo: SFDS
On the other hand, Wendy, SFDS’ latest project, was a “crazy, but not a complicated build”, according to Winston. That isn’t to say the construction wasn’t fraught with false starts and delays, not to mention the rainy conditions that plagued the project from day 1. To that latter point Winston expressed the most concern, saying that “we were building a giant lightning rod in the middle of rainstorms”.
Photo: Michael Moran/OTTO ©
No, what made Wendy “crazy” was the coordinating of multiple parties that each came to the site with their own tasks. “We started from scratch,” when Knippers Helbig drilled their gigantic ground screws into the MoMA PS1 courtyard on May 23. “Then one little thing came up after another,” as the players and the components involved added up. All along the 5 1/2 week build, SFDS found themselves “modifying everything”, from the placement of Wendy spiky blue cones (“They was no give or play with them”) to the installation of the Big Ass Fans (“They were too wide for the bays”) and, most frustratingly, the tiered pools that had to be rebuilt after a construction mishap.
Photo: Iwan Baan
Still, the quality of the construction team and the work was “top-notch”. SFDS delivered Wendy on time and modeled as closely to the architects’ original vision as possible. “Going in, I wasn’t sure we would get to there,” Winston says, gesturing to the initial Wendy renderings. “But, we hit it right on.”
Want to know more about what makes Wendy work? Head over to MoMA PS1 this Sunday, August 5th, to meet the construction team behind this year’s Young Architects Program winner. The panel, moderated by Matthias Hollwich and Marck Kushner of HWKN, will kick off at 2 PM! For more on SFDS, visit their website here.
[Disclaimer: Wendy was designed by Architizer-sister company HWKN]
Hit by Wendy’s water cannon; Photo: Instagram user al_zaidy’
What are the two top reasons you should visit Wendy this summer? For the clean air and the cool jets of water, duh. We covered the former extensively a couple weeks back, and now it’s time to turn our sights to the geyser-like blasts, cooling mists, and wading pools that make Wendy so much fun! All these splashy features were made possible by Dornbracht (with Davis & Warshow), who we’ve called the “magicians of all things water” on more than one occasion.
Dornbracht crafts elegant, strikingly stark water fixtures that are the default for any contemporary house. See the indelibly minimalist “Deque” line that makes use of “severe” polished-steel forms which not only dispense, but frame water as it spills forth. There’s also the incredibly meme-able (and borderline NSFW) “Horizontal Shower“, whose cantilevered forms allow the user to recline while showering, as a series of water jets thunder down on them.
At MoMA PS1, Wendy’s water features have quickly proven indispensable, hosing down and cooling off sun-stricken visitors and party goers alike. Children play beside the pools, while adults scramble for a spot in the eye of the pavilions water cannons. Others retreat by the misting walls of water released from under the spiky blue structure.
Sounds refreshing, doesn’t it? Well, escape both office dread and summer sun and head over to 96 Spring Street on Wednesday, August 1 for fun, food, and drinks. Wendy-creators (and Architizer-founders) Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner of HWKN will be on hand for the Dornbracht + Davis & Warshow event to talk about what it is that makes the lovable blue skyscrubber so special. They’ll reveal their inspiration and talk in-depth of the many innovations behind the project. So be sure to RSVP (see how below)–we’ll see you there!
“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