The Whitney Water Purification Facility and Park (New Haven, CT) designed by Steven Holl Architects has been chosen as one of the Top Ten Green projects for 2007 by the American Institute of Architects’ Committee on the Environment (AIA/COTE). Throughout the year the facility will be viewed as an exemplar of the standards and goals for sustainable design and construction.
The Whitney Water Purification Facility and Park was completed in 2005 and provides an abundant water supply to south central Connecticut, creates a vibrant watershed ecosystem, and includes a public park while providing a diverse habitat and sanctuary for migrating species of birds. The facility features the largest green roof in Connecticut (30,000 square feet), zero off-site storm water discharge, expanded wetlands for biodiversity, and is heated and cooled by eighty-eight geothermal wells.
The striking design fuses architecture with landscape. Water purification facilities are located beneath the park, while the operational programs rise up in a 360-foot-long stainless steel sliver that expresses the workings of the plant below and forms a reflective horizon line in the landscape.
In 2005 the Whitney Water Purification Facility and Park was awarded an Honor Award by the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and in 2001 it was the only American design to receive the Van Alen Institute Award in the International Projects in Public Architecture Competition.
Steven Holl Architects emphasizes sustainable building and site development as fundamental to innovative and imaginative design. Incorporating green roofs, double walls, and advanced mechanical systems, Steven Holl Architects constructed the New Residence at the Swiss Embassy according to Swiss “Minergie Standards,” higher standards than the U.S. Council for Green Building’s LEED standards for minimal energy consumption. In Beijing, the firm’s 200,000-square-meter Linked Hybrid complex is heated and cooled by a 660-well geothermal energy system, the largest residential geothermal system in the world, and employs green roofs and a separate grey water system. The design for the Vanke Center (Shenzhen, China) is a vision of tropical sustainability for the 21st century, employing renewable energy such as solar power and geothermal cooling.
On June 9, 2007 Steven Holl Architects’ addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO will open to the public.