Artful Form, Cleansing Function
Carved out of an abandoned parking lot, the Thornton Creek Water Quality Channel is both a water treatment facility and public open space that catalyzed mixed-use redevelopment of surrounding parcels, while naturally treating runoff from 680 acres of North Seattle.
The 2.7-acre urban respite has an artfully meandering channel that treats the runoff. The channel creates a graceful, natural space at the heart of the mixed-use development that features condominiums, apartments, restaurants, retailers and a movie theater. Water continuously flows, pools and cascades in the channel, but during and after storms the full capability of the broad channel bottom is engaged for water quality treatment. The design and grading of this narrow site addresses significant topographic changes between the channel and street. Overlooks and bridges allow pedestrians to enjoy the channel habitat and wildlife. Form meets function at the channel, becoming a truly high performance landscape.
Winner of 2010 ASLA Washington Chapter Honor Award; Seattle Design Commission 2009 Design Excellence Award; and 2008 ASCE Local Outstanding Civil Engineering Award.