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Of golf courses, filtration plants, and green roofs
Mosholu Golf Course

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.

Mosholu Golf Course

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.

  • Anonymous
  • February 27, 2009 at 1:59:00 PM CST
  • I totally agree. The way it combines programs/genres is quite amazing...
    Nice to see this also within the current dialog(s) on infrastructure..

  • Anonymous
  • February 27, 2009 at 7:00:00 PM CST
  • Fascinating idea; excited about the finished product. Golf courses seem to do well sans tons of water in misty Scotland. Also, I wonder if goats will be employed to keep the grass short as was done for Franklin Park (Boston) during Olmsted's time.

  • imhkki
  • March 11, 2009 at 7:09:00 AM CDT
  • nice idea. For the green slopes and green roofs some synthetics may be used.

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