HWKN's Wendy Opens To The Public

Wendy peeks out from behind the trees on July 1, the day of her public unveiling.

“I use the post office across the street. I actually went to this school—P.S.1—when it was still an elementary school. I graduated in 1962. I read a story about the young people who designed it, and that’s what made me come in and visit. It’s so great whenever people do something that’s beautiful, but also functional. It’s showing possibilities, so I just wanted to check it out. It’s great to walk down the street and go somewhere that’s cool. The cooling system works great. Little kids are going to have a good time. The fact that it’s cleaning the air—I thought that is great. I’ve seen a few other installations here like the one when they had chickens outside [WORKac’s 2008 installation, P.F.1].” —Shirley Mitchell

“I’ve seen it from scratch. I’ve seen everything, from the first little nail they put on the ground, and it’s, wow, amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it. Not only that, you can actually breathe better. I live in the Bronx, so I notice it—this air is way different. Everybody loves it—everybody loves it. The kids think it’s like a pool party. This is my second year working here, and usually the temperature in the yard is even hotter than the street. This year, this thing is like a giant A/C. It actually cools you down. It’s refreshing. They made my summer better. They came in here with computerized drawings, and you know what: They made this thing exactly like those pictures. People always tell me I’m infatuated with this thing. And you know what? I actually am. I’ve seen it come up out of nothing. It’s awesome.” —Juan Rivera, MoMA Security

“We had heard this extracted pollution from the environment, so on a scorching day like today, it’s a wonderful respite. We’ve been enjoying these shady areas, and if you dip your hand in the terraced pool, it’s really very cooling. It can do wonders for your temperature.” —Natasha T.

“It’s cool. It feels misty everywhere. I stuck my hands in the pool and it felt good, especially on a hot day. I feel like I just want to jump into the pool. I just run into the fountain and got wet. That’s what Wendy is meant for—to get wet.” —Flora T., age 7

"I work in the neighborhood, but this is my first trip to the museum. It’s great. The misters are really nice—it feels great—but it’s also art. I like the shape. It’s like a piñata star. On a day like today, it’s so nice to get cooled. The environment is really important to me. Cities get so hot. We need to really consider things like green roofs to help offset that heat. I don’t know too much about modern art—I know the big names like Van Gogh—but this is really new to me, this kind of industrial art. It’s really great. They should just leave it here permanently." —Mark Bansfield

"It’s gorgeous. It’s so much fun. We live nearby, so it’s been exciting to see it get built. My sons, who are three, wake up from their nap in the afternoon and beg to come to PS1. It’s something big and constructed in our backyard. They would peek in through the holes in the courtyard wall and see the different things going up—first the scaffolding, then the fans, so it’s great to see it finished." —Gina Neff

Young visitors waiting to go outsdide and see Wendy up close.

“It’s raining, mommy.”

“It’s so cold, like winter.”

Visitors enjoyed Wendy's misting arms on the 95 F day.

Others cooled off in the pools.

Or under the water jets.

HWKN principals Marc Kushner, AIA, and Matthias Hollwich stand next to the project description at Thursday's press preview.

Kushner and Hollwich, inside Wendy, explaining the fans and assorted hardware that power the installation's cooling and water features.

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