Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant
The master plan for this wastewater treatment plant outlines $4.5 billion in new construction over 25 years, to replace an outmoded and environmentally unsound facility. Constructed in phases, the plant remains fully operational throughout the process. The design employs building forms, materials and color as well as perimeter fencing, aerial walkways and bridges as ordering devices to link the structures into a comprehensible and striking visual composition. Expanses of glass display and demystify the wastewater treatment process and provide natural light in machinery rooms. The need to balance the requirements of a large-scale water pollution control plant with the concerns of the surrounding community was critical. The master plan embraced the community’s desire for waterfront access: a waterfront park at the site was designed in collaboration with the artist and sculptor George Trakas, with provisions for extending the concept all along Newtown Creek as the area develops away from strictly industrial use.