Of golf courses, filtration plants, and green roofs
Grimshaw, the landscape architect Ken Smith and the doyens of green roofs, Rana Creek, will soon combine two of our favorite memes: golf courses and civic infrastructure.
According to The Architect's Newspaper, the $2.1 billion Croton Water Filtration Plant, currently under construction in the Bronx, will be topped off with “one of the largest and most intensive green roofs to date.” Unlike Ken Smith's inaccessible and inorganic roof garden at the remodeled Museum of Modern Art in New York, this one will be open to the public as a fully functioning golf course.
It's landscape, architecture, infrastructure, eco-machine and land art all rolled up into one.
So many things about this project are noteworthy, for instance, all this talk about sustainability when there's this golf course in the room. In common practice, golf courses are notoriously unsustainable. They are as land use intensive and ecologically suspect as new ex-urban developments on virgin land. They're water guzzlers, a symbol in post-water American West of irresponsible resource management. Seeing well-manicured, verdant greenery amidst a climate-changed sea of sand and rocks, or even hearing about Tiger Wood's golf course in Dubai, we can't help but think of them as the folliest of follies. In other words, a golf course described as “a true display of sustainable green design,” which might be the case here, is a bit of dissonance for us.
But to be perfectly clear, we think this to be one of the most interesting projects we have heard thus far this year.