Sunset Park recycling plant an example of “awesome” architecture: OPINION

November 18, 2013 03:17PM

A planned Anabelle Selldorf-designed recycling facility in Sunset Park — far from igniting NIMBY rage — is set to be an architectural gem, according to New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman.

The first state-of-the-art processing plant for recyclable plastic, metals and glass, the Sims Municipal Recycling Facility is slated to open soon at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, and will have the appearance of “an ensemble of modernist boxes,” Kimmelman wrote.

“The facility is understated, well-proportioned and well planned — elegant, actually, and not just for a garbage site,” he added.

The project, which kicked off 10 years ago, sought out Selldorf Architects rather than engineers to design the plant — an approach not unlike the city enlisting Ennead Architects to design the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Greenpoint, which began in 1998 and is scheduled for completion next year. The idea, Kimmelman wrote, was that by building a well-designed facility, the public would welcome the plant.

However, local community group the Gracie Point Community Council sued the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in August 2009 claiming the agency failed to heed its own regulations with granting permits to the city. The suit was dismissed in June 2010, but the group appealed. [NYT]Julie Strickland