Water Resource Recovery Facility
The Plattsburgh WRRF facility which is situated on the Plattsburgh Harbor on Lake Champlain, was constructed in the 1960s in a Brutalist architecture style. Since its construction, the City of Plattsburgh began a revitalization effort of the surrounding site, restoring the decommissioned historic train station, removing the previous train transfer station and tracks, and developing the waterfront by adding a park and a boat launch in the 1990s. The City’s master plan details connecting a series of pedestrian trails, with a trail traversing along the facility’s waterfront area that will tie into this overarching plan. The City of Plattsburgh turned its attention to the WRRF because it occupies much of the waterfront and they are hoping to further develop the surrounding area, including adding apartments and condominiums nearby. The idea is to draw people to the industrial plant for education and recreation.
Included in the project were the overall Chemical Disinfection Building and a new Interpretive Center with educational exhibits. The Chemical Disinfection Building was an upgrade to the existing treatment system in place. The clear glass corner of the building is fully transparent allowing any passersby to see the functions of the chemical disinfection process. This concept of transparency carries through to the West Side where the transparent glazing of the Interpretive Center will give attendees a glimpse into the workings of the plant by way of an upper-level observation deck.
The South and West Side of the building were designed to beautify the facades that will be visible from the area being developed. The plan will include recladding of the North and East Sides as well to give the building a more iconic presence. The Interpretive Center opposes the building and will also be used as part of the future farmers’ market, and the intention is to draw public interest to the water treatment site. An iconic tower draws your eye to the building where inside they will find interactive exhibits on the workings of the plant. An enclosed observation deck allows year-round viewing into the clarifiers, and an additional exterior deck carries the remaining length of the clarifiers. As for the re-cladding of the plant: transparent, backlit rain screen panels will make the cold concrete façade more inviting. On the South Side, aluminum fins in the shape of an undulating wave screen the plant from the proposed apartments to be developed while creating an iconic form.