2017 MeritAward

Croton Water Filtration Plant

Category: General Design

Landscape Architect:

Ken Smith Workshop with Grimshaw Architects


Project Team:

Architect: Grimshaw Architects

Water Filtration Plant Engineer: Hazen & Sawyer Civil Engineer: Amman & Whitney

Hydrology Engineer: Sherwood Design Engineers Green Roof Consultant: Rana Creek

Irrigation Consultant: Northern Designs LEED Consultant: Atelier Ten

Golf Course Design Consultant: Stephen Kay/Doug Smith Golf Course Design Structural Engineer: Amman & Whitney

Lighting Consultant: Arup Lighting

Security Consultant: Ducibella Venter & Santore Ecology Consultant: Great Ecology

Construction Manager: URS/Malcome-Pirnie JV-Arcadis General Contractor: Skanska

Landscape Contractor: Valley Crest

About the Project:

Croton Water Filtration Plant is a large-scale infrastructure landscape for the new drinking water filtration plant in the Bronx. This environmentally sensitive site in Van Cortland Park exemplifies the contemporary trend of multi-use infrastructure with an emphasis on public use and sustainability with a program implementing a new golf driving range, stormwater management, and security.

The 9-acre green roof of the plant is designed as a sculptural landscape disguising below-grade structure and functions as a golf driving range. A stormwater system collects runoff from the roof structure and provides phyto-remediation in a series of treatment cells that ring the driving range, as well as reuse for site irrigation. Over 1.5 miles of bluestone and gabion security walls ring the site and are carefully integrated into the natural topography.

Project Location:


Special Factors

The Croton Water Filtration Plant exemplifies the contemporary trend of multi-use infrastructure with an emphasis on public space and sustainability programmed into a large-scale and complex program. This endeavor demonstrates environmental stewardship and best practice for storm water management on an urban scale. The project synthesizes disparate programs to produce a

high-performance multipurpose solution improving upon the urban environment. With the support of the city agencies, the design team has rigorously persisted to retain the integrity of an integrated approach to the buildings and surrounding natural landscape while striving to embed sustainable practices into a living and thriving environment. Inherent to this approach is the belief that sustainable design excellence can be realized as an integral work of urban infrastructure.

Functionally, the design provides habitat, park restoration, visual enhancement, facilities and, above all, site security for a multi- billion dollar public works facility. Located in an environmentally sensitive site of historic Van Cortland Park, the project includes riparian woodlands and wet meadows that are to be protected. The landscape program incorporates a sustainable 9-acre green roof within an 11-acre driving range, which is located over the subterranean water filtration plant. It is also driven by security requirements while creating a natural terrain at the driving range. The result is a landscape earthwork where there is nearly two miles of site walls that constitutes a moat surrounding the site and plant. This moat is also the wetland treatment cells of the stormwater treatment system.

Principal goals for the project were:

  1. To minimize the discharge of site water into New York City’s combined sewer through storm water and ground water detention on site beyond that of required city
  1. To minimize the use of potable water on site through the reuse of retained storm and ground
  1. To create native ecological habitat on