Somebody wanted to build a water filtration center on the spot of a Bronx, NY golf-course driving range. Bad idea? It was until the architects decided to build the plant and keep the range.

"Green roofs" are nothing new—one day soon all of us will have grass for a roof, especially if the economy continues to plunge into its fiery little hellpit. But at the Mosholu Golf Course in the Bronx, the roof of a new water filtration plant is "performative" according to landscape architect Ken Smith—who worked on it with a firm called Grimshaw—because it's also a nine-acre driving range.

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Even though it is full of drinking water, the $2.1 billion facility has to stay dry. The summer downpours and spring thaws that would otherwise buffet the green roof are naturally filtered and collected in innovative drains that route water around the entire 9-hole golf course. It apparently takes up to eight days for water to make its way around the circuit of irrigation.

In case you were wondering, this will be the "largest contiguous green roof in the country," according to the Architect's Newspaper, and it alone will cost $95 million. It's also an impressive step forward for the City of New York in the arena of sustainable architecture. Mind you, this is not a concept, like a lot of the pretty sketches we publish.

George Carlin called golf an elitist sport and a waste of space. Though unspoken, I can only imagine there's a bit of a hat-tip to Carlin, a New York native, in this move. (Incidentally, the Mosholu public golf course primarily serves underprivileged kids.) So there you go, Georgie—who said the human race was too dumb to listen to reason? Oh yeah, you did. [Architect's Newspaper via Treehugger]

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