06/29/2012 04:48 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

HWKN's Installation 'Wendy' Is Unveiled At PS1 (IMAGES)

Last night, MoMA PS1 officially opened "Wendy," the winner of its Young Architects Program, in Queens, New York. The architecture duo behind the project is HWKN -- Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner.

At the press conference, Glen Lowry, the director of the Museum of Modern Art, referred to Wendy as a woman because she's "hot and cold." This odd throwback to pre-feminist days wasn't echoed by the architects, however. In an interview with The Huffington Post, Matthias Hollwich said Wendy is "a perfect storm." He continued, "Architecture used to be about designing beautiful buildings, but now it's about character and personality." This, coupled with their love of the band The Association, made "Wendy" the ideal choice for the ecologically friendly and socially conscious architectural installation.

The 56-foot high structure is wrapped in a vibrant blue-colored titania nanofilm which absorbs airborne impurities. By the end of the summer, the equivalent of 260 cars' worth of exhaust will be scrubbed from the air. We had the rare opportunity to walk up the stairs and visit the interior of the installation, which is suspended amid a formidable amount of scaffolding. Here, vapor pools enhance air circulation, and giant fans embedded in the structure emit a cool misty breeze to those below. During the press conference, Hollwich and Kushner sheepishly admitted that the fans were powered by electricity, so the project isn't exactly carbon neutral. However, "Wendy" is an impressive start to thinking about how aesthetics and responsibility can better coexist.