The Old Testament contains one of the oldest architectural briefs in history: A description of the Tabernacle, a portable compound that God describes as his earthly dwelling place. It’s a surprisingly specific set of guidelines—from the dimensions of the tent to the dolphin-skin roof—which have been interpreted in countless ways over the centuries. So what would it look like if it was built in modern-day Manhattan?
That was the question asked of New York architecture firm HWKN by the author of Unscrolled, a new book that invites artists and writers to reinterpret pieces of the Hebrew Bible. As part of their contribution to the book, the designers at HWKN transplanted God’s guidelines into midtown Manhattan, imagining the tent as a contemporary building. “Every synagogue looks different all over the world, but when you go back and look at the Torah it’s evident that God actually gave us a style,” says principal HWKN Marc Kushner. “We took those instructions almost verbatim from the Bible.”
The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 have announced this year’s winner of the Young Architects Program. HWKN (HollwichKushner) will construct their entry for the annual outdoor summer installation in PS1’s courtyard in Queens this summer. The winning proposal, titled Wendy, will consist of a large scaffold containing an oversized blue nylon starburst-like structure that will clean the air while offering shade, wind, rain and music.
Skygrove is a proposal by HWKN architecture firm, who have envisioned a new building typology inspired by mangrove trees. The building design adapts climate change directly into its infrastructure. Skygrove’s concept is to accomodate rising sea levels, coastal flooding, tsunamis. This exciting form of biomimicry is a bold attempt of twisting the conventional skyscraper with our future climate issues, but we are not convinced the building has to be so large to be considered a success.
The creators of WENDY, HWKN (Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner) were the winner of the annual Young Architects Program (YAP) in New York.
WENDY is an experiment that tests how far the boundaries of architecture can expand to create ecological and social effect.”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.”