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The Los Angeles Glendale Water Reclamation Facility


When tasked with designing a water reclamation facility serving hundreds of thousands of southern Californians in Glendale and Los Angeles, Lehrer Architects LA noted the boundless potential offered by the project’s location parallel to the rejuvenating LA River.  In addition to designing the state-of-the-art labs and control room that offer us our most precious resource – potable water – the architect created a monument to the river, and to water in general.

The swooping roof mirrors the famous river banks, reaching out to the river, which is in the exciting process of revitalization.  It projects its mission to the motorists on the 5 freeway and the denizens of Griffith Park beyond.   Its visual connection to these neighbors and its views of Downtown Los Angeles weave it into the natural and urban fabrics it inhabits.

In tandem with these relationships with the river, Lehrer Architects LA suggested that the client, the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, adopt water education as their ancillary mission.  An assembly pavilion and grand staircase will convene thousands of students and water professionals to learn about this critical aspect of our civilization.

The topographical land mass and the grand stairs, create additional plazas at angles that echo the riverbanks.  Bikers and kayakers will engage with the gift to the public, who will also have direct access to myriad interactive water features that will celebrate the spirit of the 2028 Olympiad.


Westside Prize Honor Award, Westside Urban Forum, 2019
Design Concept Award, Los Angeles Business Council, 2019


4600 Colorado Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Square footage

Building: 14,700 SF

 Design Collaborators

Architect: Lehrer Architects LA

Structural: John Labib & Associates

Owner/Developer:  City of Los Angeles

Civil Engineer: VCA Engineers

Lighting Designer: KGM Architectural Lighting

Landscape Architect: Studio MLA

MEP Engineer: S&K