THORNTON CREEK WATER QUALITY CHANNEL | SEATTLE, WA

THORNTON CREEK WATER QUALITY CHANNEL | SEATTLE, WA

Owner: Seattle Public Utilities
SvR Role: Landscape Architecture & Civil Engineering 
Construction Cost:  $10.7 million
Start Date: 2003 
End Date: 2009
Awards:  
2010 Washington ASLA Honor Award
2009 Seattle Design Commission Design Excellence Award
2008 ASCE Local Outstanding Civil Engineering Award

Carved out of an abandoned parking lot, the Thornton Creek Water Quality Channel is a water treatment facility and public open space that connects the surrounding community while restoring the environment. SvR designed and engineered this 2.7-acre urban respite with an artfully meandering channel that treats runoff from 680 acres. 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. There is a continuous expression of water flowing, pooling and cascading 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.

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