It might be surprising to hear that an architect jumped at the chance to design the recycling facility of a major city -- it doesn't sound very glamorous. But Annabelle Selldorf, who typically designs art galleries, homes and stores, liked the challenge. The result was an attractive facility with green space, solar panels, and a wind turbine that helps supply it with energy. There's also a visitor center that draws people to learn more about recycling.
Selldorf's previous work has been described as "an intriguing combination of discipline and seduction, authority mixed with charm, equal parts modesty and authorship" [source: Wall Street Journal]. While the German-born architect (based in New York) describes herself as a Modernist, she doesn't always stick to its minimalist esthetic. Yes, there are the big, white open spaces and the exposed elements like concrete and wood, but there are also flashes of color and nods to history. She designed a townhouse in the East Village, for example, that is mostly white but has colored panels here and there for maximum impact. Selldorf is also innovative in the technological sense; she designed an apartment building in New York at 200 Eleventh Avenue that has a separate elevator for your car.