The end of a decade inspires a lot of list compiling; in that spirit, mammoth offers an alternative list of the best architecture of the decade, concocted without any claim to authority and surely missing some fascinating architecture. But we hope that at least it’s not boring, as this was an exciting decade for architecture, despite the crashing, the burning, and the erupting into flames.
They include many projects with an environmental dimension including: New York’s Fresh Kills, Orange County’s Groundwater replenishment system, and the Svalbard global seed bank. They write about Orange County’s project:
you might say that the Groundwater Replenishment System is a small step towards a new way of thinking about urban hydrology: the city is a stillsuit for surviving the drought. Intended to halt the traditional mass flush of urban effluent and wastewater into the ocean, Orange County’s latest addition to its wastewater infrastructure is “the world’s largest, most modern reclamation plant”, capable of turning “70 million gallons of treated sewage into drinking water every day”, according to the LA Times.
and about New York City’s Fresh Kills landfill conversion:
[Fresh Kills demonstrates] the ability of an office led by a landscape architect to produce a synthesis of ecological, urban, social, and infrastructural processes on a large scale within an extremely complicated urban system. This kind of work, of course, operates intentionally on long time scales, and so it is perhaps not surprising that even Corner, probably the best-known of the landscape architects who joined the first wave of landscape urbanists, has only completed one major landscape (at least as far as I’m aware), the rather disappointing High Line. … What is particularly exciting about Field Operations’s Fresh Kills for landscape architects is that this massive new park isn’t being built so much as it is being grown and cultivated, thereby realizing a firm reliance on the flow and flux of ecologies as not just inspiration for design, but as the tool of design