The City of New York breaks ground on $1.6 billion Gowanus infrastructure and public space projects

Selldorf Architects, March 16, 2023

Selldorf Architects joined the Office of the Mayor, New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the groundbreaking of two major infrastructure projects in Gowanus: CSO Facility Red Hook and CSO Facility Owls Head. The design of these two headhouse buildings will each host an underground storage tank with the combined capacity to store up to 12 million gallons of sewer overflow during heavy rainstorms. By collecting and storing sewer overflow during these storm events, and subsequently rerouting the waste to the appropriate water treatment facility, the two CSO facilities will significantly reduce polluting the Gowanus Canal. Selldorf is collaborating with a large team of architects and engineering experts including Scape, Sasaki (DLANDstudio), Hazen & Sawyer, Brown & Caldwell.

Commenting on Selldorf’s design for CSO Red Hook, New York City Public Design Commission (PDC) Executive Director Sreoshy Banerjea said, “The exemplary design, which was recognized with a PDC design award in 2019, employs a terracotta façade to blend in with the surrounding brick buildings, while also establishing a contemporary presence in the community. Gracious areas for multipurpose and passive recreation are provided and will be an incredible asset to the community. The Gowanus facility illustrates how critical infrastructure can be integrated thoughtfully with community space in service of New Yorkers and their public realm.”

The designs for both facilities are inspired by the industrial vernacular of their respective sites and celebrate the history of Gowanus. The projects will be a significant investment in Brooklyn’s waterways and public spaces improving the health of the canal and creating 3.6 acres of new public waterfront open space and amenities for the Gowanus community.

For the complete press release, visit the Office of the Mayor’s website here.

Rendering of CSO Facility Owls Head by Selldorf Architects.