Hermas Development


Hermas Development

CLIENT Hermas Development Company / SIZE 10. 000 m2 / STATUS Under Construction / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates / One Lux Studio

The Hermas Development will feature four office buildings organized around a central courtyard. Each building has retail on the ground floor, nine office floors, and a tenth roof level amenities connecting all four buildings. The roof level amenities house the Al Kamal headquarters, a Spa, Gymnasium and a restaurant for fine dining. Sitting on a site area of 15,220 m2 and rising 47 meters in height Hermas Development will be LEED Certified and have a 5 star QSAS rating.  

An Islamic pattern is reinterpreted through the site.  Modified, scaled, simplified, the pattern becomes at times the layout of the courtyard, at others, a paving pattern, the edge of the water feature, and benches.

The shade, the sound of the water, the vegetation and the color palette will provide a sense respite and freshness as soon as one enters the courtyard. Materials with warm colors are selected for the streetscape and cool color ones such as greens and greys for the courtyard.

The planting palette for the courtyard showcases native tall vertical palms and acacias well-known for their horizontal canopy. The sun study of the courtyard maps areas of sun exposure suitable for planting trees, and consequently where the earth berms up to allow for planting depth.

The terraces on the 4th and 10th floors feature pixel like planters allowing for more intimate spaces where one can sit alone or in a small gathering. The terraces of the 4th floor have a white, a red, a blue and a yellow garden; the ones on the 10th floor have a scent garden, an edible garden and an orange grove. The vegetated roof of the 9th floor displays arabesques of sedums.

TBD: Grow With the Flow

2018 - Pittsburgh, PA

TBD: Grow With the Flow

Pittsburgh, PA, USA

CLIENT Riverlife PA / SIZE 0.17 acres / 697m2 / STATUS 2018 Finalist / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates


OCCUPY FORT DUQUESNE       How can this urban void located under the Ft. Duquesne Bridge overpass become a public space? Shaping the space to balance flexibility while giving an identity and sense of place stipulated the reinvention of a new design language.

1,000 to 3,000 milk crates turned up to be the perfect tool: They are modular and offer many layout configurations. They are comfortable: one can sit on it, lounge on it. They are flexible: they become furniture, construction blocks. They are stackable, easy to put away. They are light and can be moved around easily.  They are inexpensive.  They are playful and interactive. They are durable. They are desirable. We propose a ‘Second Life’ program that encourages the community to take this highly coveted module and transform it according to their needs... And they are yellow and refer to the iconic Aztec gold color that defines Pittsburgh.

CELEBRATE THE RIVERS       2018 marks the 260 year anniversary of Pittsburgh. This summer, let’s celebrate the rivers! Our scheme responds to the fluctuations of the river and uses flood as leverage for design. 
When the site floods the crates equipped with flotation devices lifts up and stays dry until the water recedes leaving a trace of the river. This presents a playful spectacle on site while keeping the maintenance after flood to a minimum. Grow With The Flow memorializes the floods with the tallest bridge column bearing the marks of the past 100 years floods – from the 46ft mark of the Great St. Patrick Day flood of 1936 to the 2005 flood. 

REVEAL NATURE’S FORCE       The bathymetric map reveals the topography of the riverbed invisible to us at the water edge. We propose to extend theses contours onto TBD site, softening the hard edge of the river while reminding users that the river occupies the site occasionally. 
The 2-dimensional representation of topography is traced with blue temperature sensitive paint that transitions into yellow at a specific temperature threshold. The thermochromic paint’s immediate and interactive process captures nature’s lack of fixity. The contour lines render the concept of landscape as part of an interconnected system, which extends and connects to other systems around it. Grow With The Flow aims to reestablish our relationship with nature.


This project included a public engagement stage. Our main objective was to understand better the relationship between people and the Allegheny River to advocate for a better relationship between people, other living things, cities and larger natural systems.

New Government City

Sejong, South Korea

New Government City

Sejong, South Korea

CLIENT Multi-functional Administrative City Construction Agency of Korea / SIZE 667 acres / 2,700,000 m2 /STATUS Competition - 1st Place 2007, 1st Phase Completed 2012, 2nd Phase Completed 2014  / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / H Associates / Haeahn Architecture / PHOTO CREDIT Efrain Mendez, archframe.net

This is a project that took a modest idea, that of green roofs as a public spaces and converted them into the generating idea for shaping a whole city. The four kilometer continuous connecting surface uniting ministries transforms the understanding of public space which here becomes the generator of the architectural form and is completely integrated into the architecture.

The design of the Master Plan for South Korea’s new administrative city. Sejong City, some 90 miles south of Seoul, will be home to 36 ministries currently located in or near Seoul. This project was won in an international competition and is now under construction. 

Three concepts ruled its overall definition:

FLAT CITY: The iconic plane--the physical and conceptual datum of aligned building rooftops--symbolizes the interconnected unity and democratic nature of the people and the government.

LINK CITY: Physical and visual linkages are created between the government and the people, the urban and the natural, the ground and the sky.

ZERO WASTE CITY: We created a strategy for the model city development that is based on zero waste principles. All waste from one system becomes the food for another. The third, Zero Waste City was not carried out.

New Asian Cities Pursue Sustainable Design, Architectural Record
Asian Cities Go Green, Bloomberg Businessweek
City’s Evolution Offers Lessons in Korean Politics, New York Times

SEJONG, KOREA, MPPAT (Masterplan for Public Administration Town)

Campa de los Ingleses Park




CLIENT Sociedad Bilbao Ria 2000 / SIZE 25,000 sq. m2 / 6.17 acres / STATUS Completed 2012 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Lantec (Local Partner) / RTN Architects / PHOTO CREDIT Iwan Baan / Efrain Mendez / Borja Gomez

Campa de los Ingleses Park designed by Balmori Associates with RTN Architect is the results of an international design competition (2007). 

The park flows from the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, unifying the Abandoibarra area of Bilbao and the Nervión River. The Park's design was based on gracefully mediating for pedestrians a ten meter (33 feet) elevation difference between the city above and the Nervión River below. This was achieved with ramps, terraces, and topography, earthforms serving to control vistas and to allow for a café to be tucked under.

Instead of an “Industrial Lawn”, a “Freedom Lawn” was planted by introducing various grass species, clover and wildflowers that fixes nitrogen and reduces the need for pesticides. The paving designed by Balmori contains an additive called GeoSilex® which absorbs CO2; the paving was developed with the University of Granada and made entirely from industrial waste. The local newspaper referred to the park as “a new lung for the city.”

St. Patrick's Island




CLIENT Calgary Municipal Land Corporation / SIZE 12.5 Ha. / 31.0 Ac. / STATUS Competition finalist, 2011 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Allied Works Architecture / David Skelley / NIP / Creative Concern / Knippers  Helbig / Sherwood / Design Engineers / Trans Solar / Hanscomb / Anne Georg / Terry Bullick

Balmori Associates’ entry for St. Patrick’s Island competition revisits and modernizes the eternal idea of Eden and the foundation of a new era. We propose attracting and supporting wildlife on their terms, not ours. In doing so, we offer a powerful point of comparison with the adjacent Calgary Zoo and create a model for our future relations with other living things.

An assemblage of habitats as an ecological mosaic allows local fauna and flora to thrive.  Diversified vegetation cover, enhanced topographical features and integrated water-based ecosystems are relevant to the site’s situation within the Bow River floodplain. Known as “edge effect”, the overlap zones between habitats (ecotones) are privileged as they typically present increased variety of plants.

Smithson Floating Island

2005 - NEW YORK, NY, USA



CLIENT Produced by Minetta Brook in collaboration with the Whitney Museum of American Art, with the assistance of the Hudson River Park Trust, and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation / SIZE 2,700 ft2 / 250 m2 / STATUS Completed in 2005 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Official LLC / Diana Shamash / Minetta Brook / Nancy Holt / James Cohan Gallery / Estate of Robert Smithson / John Rubin / Floating Cinema PHOTO CREDIT Andrew Cross / John Bartelstone

Never realized during the artist Robert Smithson’s lifetime, Floating Island is a 30 x 90-foot barge landscaped with earth, rocks, and native trees and shrubs, towed by a tugboat around the island of Manhattan. The fabricated “island” on view from September 17 to 25, 2005 was visible to millions of residents, commuters, and visitors along the Hudson and East Rivers. 

Robert Smithson developed the concept for Floating Island in 1970—the same year he created his best-known work, the ambitious earthwork Spiral Jetty at Utah’s Great Salt Lake.  Balmori Associates interpreted his 1970 sketch and consulted with his widow the artist Nancy Holt. According to her, Smithson's project was intended as an homage to Central Park. Floating Island offers a displacement of the park—itself a man-made creation from its natural habitat.

Abandoibarra Masterplan




CLIENT Sociedad Bilbao Ria 2000 / SIZE 74 acres / 300,000 m2 STATUS Design Completed 1996 / Construction Completed 2012 DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects / Eugenio Aguinaga PHOTO CREDIT Bilbao Ria 2000 / Efrain Mendez, archframe.net

2012 marks the completion of Balmori Associates’ Master Plan for Abandoibarra. For the past twenty years, Bilbao has reinvented itself by regenerating important sections of the city affected by the industrial crisis of the 1980’s.  One of those former industrial areas is a derelict harbor in the center of Bilbao called Abandoibarra.

The Abandoibarra Master Plan was drawn by Balmori Associates, Cesar Pelli and Eugenio Aguinaga in 1998 (winner of an international competition). Balmori Associates created park guidelines and designed all open space, streets, sidewalks and plazas, placing emphasis on expanding the amount of green space in the city and incorporating sustainable design practices. Two-thirds of the Master Plan area are dedicated to parks and open space.

Today, what was once a high-speed roadway, has been turned into a boulevard with multiple pedestrian crossings and a light rail now connects the two main cultural centers of the development: Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum and the city’s opera house. Running on wide swaths of green lawn, this rail line gives continuity to green space. For the river edge, Balmori proposed a linear park, Parque de la Ribera. This new promenade, no less than thirty meters in width, is treated as a longitudinal space at two levels. The half nearest to the water proposes the pier’s rehabilitation, maintaining the existing dialogue between both shores. The inside half, which is located at the 6m level, concurs with the exterior of the Guggenheim Museum. In 2005 this section of the Master Plan received the Special Award ‘Città d’Acqua’ of the Biennale di Venezia for Best Project. In 2003, Balmori Associates was commissioned the designed of Plaza Euskadi and in 2007, together with RTN Architect, won an international competition to design Campa de los Ingleses Park also located in Abandoibarra.


2015 - Brooklyn, NY, USA



SIZE 125.7 square feet / STATUS Completed 2015 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates

GrowOnUs Floating Landscape in the Gowanus Canal

An experiment to clean water through phytoremediation, desalination and rainwater collection to irrigate productive floating gardens.

Balmori Associates has designed, fabricated and is launching a floating landscape in Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal, one of the most polluted bodies of water in the United States. The floating infrastructure is one in a series of projects Balmori has designed to act as sponges that filter and clean water and provide wildlife habitats in the city. Floating infrastructures can adapt to and address rising seas.

GrowOnUs, an experiment in floating infrastructure was launched on Friday September 18 at 11am at the Third Street Bridge in Brooklyn, NY.

The project was funded through a $20,000 grant Balmori Associates and the Gowanus Canal Conservancy received from the Cornelia & Michael Bessie Foundation to research and create a floating productive garden in the Gowanus Canal. Once a hub for maritime and commercial activity, the Gowanus Canal has captured industrial waste products from factories located along its banks; and during heavy storms, combined sewer overflows (CSOs) bring not only stormwater to the canal but also untreated human and industrial waste, toxic materials, and debris.

GrowOnUs transforms metal culvert pipe into planters. These are the same pipes used to bring the polluted runoff and sewage waste to the canal. Each of the 54 test tubes isolate different experiments in plants (over 30 plants selected for phytoremediation and natural dye production), various watering conditions (clean water through phytoremediation, desalinate canal brackish water through evaporation and condensation and collect rainwater), as well as a variety of buoyant construction materials (coconut fibers, bamboo, mycelium, and matrix of recycled plastic.)

GrowOnUs will be monitored to study the viability of producing large scale edible floating landscapes in cities with polluted rivers. It will also further explore other functions with urban potential as a multi-functional green infrastructure: shoreline protection, biodiverse habitats, energy production, and public space.

Diana Balmori, discussing the project commented: ‘We have pioneered floating landscapes, we now want to learn what can make these floating structures financially sustainable. Dr Michael Balick at the New York Botanical Garden suggested we grow herbs, low maintenance crops that can give a financial return given their price per volume. In a few years NYC restaurants may be serving meals and drinks infused with herbs grown on one of these islands.’

Similar to green roofs or linear parks in place of traffic medians, floating landscapes exist on the edges and underutilized spaces within cities. Whereas green roofs exist as an intersection between landscape and architecture, floating islands are a model of the interface and transitions between the river, the landscape and the city. 

Wall Street Journal
Next City
The Architect's Newspaper
News 12 Brooklyn
Fox 5 News
shift on MSNBC

GrowOnUs press release
GrowOnUs brochure

Grand Connection

2017 - Bellevue, WA, USA

Grand Connection

Bellevue, WA, USA

CLIENT City of Bellevue / SIZE 1.5 miles / STATUS 2017 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Mobility in Chain / Herrera / Knippers Helbig

The Grand Connection will provide a sweeping new vision for Bellevue. Envisioned as a signature urban experience and means of connectivity, the Grand Connection will become an identifiable element of Bellevue’s urban landscape.

Improved connectivity, urban amenities, and experiences will enhance Bellevue’s existing infrastructure within Downtown, while a signature and dynamic crossing over Interstate I-405 will usher in a new era and vision for Bellevue’s Wilburton Commercial Area.

As a long-term project, the Grand Connection will also incorporate smaller placemaking improvements that will “claim the corridor” and begin to establish the overall vision. In addition to improving aesthetics and placemaking, the Grand Connection will improve overall connectivity and safety for non-motorized transportation. Building upon the framework of the Pedestrian Corridor plan, the Grand Connection will sculpt and frame a new pedestrian and cyclist environment that embraces the urbanity of Downtown Bellevue.

While the visioning process assisted in establishing an exciting and transformational vision, it also sought to remain pragmatic, understanding the constraints of many places along the route. The visioning process was tasked with developing solutions for both the near and the long-term, creating goals and opportunities as Bellevue grows, while capitalizing on early wins and implementable strategies that are budget and time conscious.

The Grand Connection Visioning Framework Report contains a wide range of improvements for both the near and long term. It considers issues regarding mobility, public space, connectivity, and programming. These major ideas include:

• Distinct and unifying identity for the route
• Cohesive design strategies
• Improved connectivity and mobility
• Improved quality and experience of existing and future public spaces
• Pursuit of innovative and creative means of placemaking to create a unique urban experience
• A signature crossing to reconnect Downtown and the Wilburton Commercial Area
• Successful interfacing of the Interstate 405 crossing with the Eastside Rail Corridor
• Create a shared vision by stakeholders and the public
• Early Implementation Strategies

Hoboken: resist, delay, store, discharge


Hoboken: resist, delay, store, discharge


CLIENT US Department of Housing and Urban Development / Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force / Rebuild by Design / City of Hoboken / SIZE 735 acres / 300 ha / STATUS Competition Winner 2015 / DESIGN TEAM OMA / Balmori Associates / Royal Haskoning /  HR&A

Organized by Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, Rebuild by Design was a multistage regional design competition aimed at developing innovative projects to protect and enhance Sandy-affected communities. The OMA, Balmori Associates, Royal Haskoning, HR & A proposal Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge for Jersey City, Hoboken and Weehawken was awarded $230 million.

Jersey City, Hoboken and Weehawken are susceptible to both flash flood and storm surge. As integrated urban environments, discreet one-house-at-a-time solutions do not make sense. What is required is a comprehensive approach that acknowledges the density and complexity of the context, galvanizes a diverse community of beneficiaries, and defends the entire city. Our comprehensive urban water strategy deploys programmed hard infrastructure and soft landscape for coastal defense (resist); policy recommendations, guidelines, and urban infrastructure to slow rainwater runoff (delay); a circuit of interconnected green infrastructure to store and direct excess rainwater (store); and water pumps and alternative routes to support drainage (discharge).

Our approach is framed by a desire to understand and quantify flood risk. In doing so, we are better positioned to identify those opportunities that present the greatest impact, the best value, and the highest potential — our areas of focus. Our objectives are to manage water for both disaster and for long-term growth; enable reasonable flood insurance premiums through the potential redrawing of the FEMA flood zone; and deliver co-benefits that enhance our cities. These are replicable innovations that can help guide our communities on a sustainable path to living with water.

For the landscape team the project galvanized the ideas of the importance of the size of the unit to be protected, in this case the whole town of Hoboken, a small town, and let to the conclusion that units of a similar size were ideal sizes in which work, leading to rather less costly solutions.

Community Member's Outline Hoboken's Rebuild by Design Initiative
Promoting Resilience Through Innovative Planning and Design
Rebuild by Design Team
Final Proposal

Creation From Catastrophe: How Architecture Rebuilds Communities

New York Police Academy

2017 - NEW YORK, NY, USA



CLIENT NYC Department of Design and Construction / New York Police Academy / SIZE 35 acres / 14 ha / 1st Phase: 200,000 sq ft / STATUS Under Construction / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Perkins+Will / Michael Fieldman Architects

Three landscape systems define the organization of the NYPA: the muster courtyard, the drainage ditch and the perimeter landscape.  Each system is defined by specific programmatic attributes, but has been designed to tie the campus together as a whole.

The muster courtyard at the heart of the campus is defined by two elements in a field of decomposed granite: the muster and the garden. Framed by stately trees and light poles, the muster is also a flexible event space. At the main entrance to the campus is a regimented entry grove of 36 Tulip trees symbolizing a company (36 recruits). Formed by a series of linear sunken planters the grove allows for east west circulation. The badly named drainage ditch is an unusual feature for this type of project but praiseworthy in its achievements.

As a linear canal it bisects the Academy, serving as both an interface between the campus program and an innovative natural drainage infrastructure. The canal, a unique condition of both freshwater and tidal ecologies, is a richly planted landscape of native and wetland species working to scrub the water clean through displacement, aeration and filtration. The planted edges and terraces accommodate the fluctuating water levels- designed within the parameters of LEED and 100-year flood models. But its great contribution is its use as visual and physical contrast to the necessarily strict layouts of the rest of the spaces.

The perimeter landscape responds to the nature of the project phasing. Since much of the perimeter and parking areas will be developed in later phases of the project, the planting strategy is to surround the academy with a native meadow and trees planted outside of future building footprints.

The Garden That Climbs The Stairs




CLIENT Bilbao Jardin / 2009 / Fundación Bilbao 700 / SIZE 80 m2 / 860 ft2 / STATUS Completed 2009 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / PHOTO CREDIT Iwan Baan

As a member of the jury for the second edition of an International Competition of urban gardens in the city of Bilbao called “Bilbao Jardín 2009”, Diana Balmori was invited to create a temporary garden. Balmori, like each of the twenty-five selected participants, was assigned a ten meter by ten meter square in which to design a garden. The site was located at the landing of a large staircase between two Arata Isozaki towers leading to Santiago Calatrava’s footbridge over the Nervión River.

Instead of remaining at the landing of the stairs Balmori stretched the same hundred square meter surface into a narrow band and shifted the site in order for the garden to climb the stairs. In one broad stroke the garden performed a narrative of landscape which transformed the way this public corridor was perceived by users.  In form, the garden engages the horizontal plaza with the rising vertical plane of the steps and the upright gesture of Eduardo Chillida’s sculpture. Like the famous ‘Spanish Steps’ in Rome, the garden is not only designed for visitors to ascend and descend, but for them to linger.

“The Garden That Climbs the Stairs” transformed a space in an unexpected way. It transformed the stairs and the space around them.

São Paulo Corporate Towers

2017 - São Paulo, Brazil

São Paulo Corporate Towers

São Paulo, Brazil

STATUS Completed 2017 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects / Atelier 10 / PHOTO CREDIT Pelli Clark Pelli Architects

The landscape design for the project is driven by the character of the Mata Atlantica Forest found on the site. Only 9% of this Brazilian ecosystem remains in the world and a few disconnected patches of this forest exists in São Paulo. Our project celebrates its biodiversity and spatial richness in the urban landscape of São Paulo.

São Paulo Corporate Towers’ landscape follows the spatial rhythm, heights and patterns of the forest as it weaves across the site and through the two towers of the architectural program.  Tree canopies of various heights create magical outdoor spaces of dappled sunlight and shade, providing a cooler environment. Landforms accentuate the display of the vegetation in their multiple canopy layers. A large green roof accessible by a series of ramps becomes a link between the two towers and integrates the amenity building. An elevated metal path weaving through the site and becoming a public sidewalk on the street offers a unique experience of walking in the canopies of trees. The collection of rain water on site and the selection of native species with lower water demand, allows for minimum irrigation.

Ciudad Empresarial Sarmiento Angulo

Bogota, Colombia

Ciudad Empresarial Sarmiento Angulo

Bogota, Colombia

CLIENT Sarmiento Angulo / STATUS Under Construction / SIZE 18.53 acres / 75,000 m2 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Construcciones Planificadas

Ciudad Empresarial Sarmiento Angulo is an urban project in the heart of Bogota, Colombia that marks the midpoint between Bogota’s historic downtown and the international airport. As Bogota has rapidly developed along Calle 26, the city’s most important axis, Ciudad Empresarial Sarmiento Angulo will emerge as Bogota’s prominent cultural and commercial center.

The master plan for Ciudad Empresarial Sarmiento Angulo spans three blocks creating an integrated system of public space that will serve as a critical junction between three distinct areas of the city: Parque Simon Bolivar to the north, Centro Administrativo Nacional to the east, and a residential neighborhood to the west. A public pedestrian spine connects all three blocks with a series of bridges over vehicular cross streets. The center piece of this mixed use development is a public square that contains a new performing arts center and hotel. The square fuses the existing open space together, creating a new public center for the city.

The landscape expresses the diverse ecology found in Colombia with each block containing a distinct botanical environment and color palette comprised of indigenous Colombian plants. The blocks are connected through water elements that fluctuate in level depending on water availability, accommodating a variety of social and ecological programs. Vibrant colors are found in both the paving and vegetation, creating a link to the city’s colorful historic district, La Candelaria, and regional ecological events like the algae blooms of the Cano Cristales. Topographic undulations in the surface of the landscape create depth for large planting areas above the underground parking structure and provide lush enclaves for people to enjoy in an urban setting.

Plaza Euskadi




CLIENT Sociedad Bilbao Ria 2000 / SIZE 2.5 acres / 10,117 m2 / STATUS Completed 2012 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / LANTEC (Local Partner) / PHOTO CREDIT Iwan Baan / Borja Gomez / Efrain Mendez

Plaza Euskadi connects the nineteenth century section of the city called “El Ensanche” to the new section of Bilbao, Deusto university campus, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Nervión River. The Plaza is a pivot, unifying diverse elements of the city.  Apart from the Museum of Fine Arts and historic residential buildings, the plaza is surrounded by contemporary buildings such as university and library buildings, a shopping mall, a subway station, hotels, residential buildings, an office skyscraper, designed by different architects including Gehry, Moneo, Pelli, Siza, Krier, Legorreta, and Stern.

Oval in form, the plaza has two forms of circulation: a tree-lined perimeter path for leisurely walks and sitting, and a dominant central path which brings the people from downtown to Abandoibarra to the Campa de los Ingleses Park, The Rivers, and the pedestrian bridge crossing the river to Deusto University and its neighborhoods.

Three public park “pockets” hook onto the sides of the central path, which provide colorful and playful seating made from recycled rubber. Each pocket has a different character: an amphitheater section with reflection puddles, an ottoman seating section, and a “garden” section of flowering shrubs with a 100 year old Laegostremia tree.

In 2008 the construction of the plaza was impacted by the economic downturn in Spain leading to a complete re-design. The final design cost was half of the original construction budget which required the removal of fountains, a more modest planting and grading scheme, and a shift in materials. 

11th Street Bridge Park




CLIENT District of Columbia / THEARC (Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus) / STATUS Competition Finalist, 2014 / SIZE 50,000 SF / 4,645 m2 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Cooper, Robertson + Partners / Guy Nordenson Associates / Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson / Fisher Marantz Stone / Jones Lang LaSalle / City Activators / Dr Mindy Thompson Fullilove / Mark Dion / Dr. Kimberly Sebek / ARUP Acoustic / ETM Associates

The 11th Street Bridge Park competition was a design effort to integrate the forces of gentrification that its development would unleash into an overall design approach ruled by protective policies. The 11th Street Bridge Park design encourages the economic development of local enterprises, introduces cultural elements that the Anacostia and D.C. communities are lacking, and incorporates aspects of local history, kicking off a new era of urban development through policies that protect the local population from gentrification while strengthening the community. The integration of economic, social and cultural policies would make this a resilient urban planning. The design approach and the community programs proposed for the bridge park reinforced one another through the creation of hybrid programmatic spaces.

The design of the bridge creates a space for diverse communities to come together on this neglected Anacostia. It provides a vehicle for very separate communities to communicate.

Cutsheet USA, Washington, DC, Bridge Park

Civic Center




CLIENT Local Government of Tucumán / STATUS Under Design 2018 / SIZE 17.5 ha / 43 acres / TEAM Balmori Associates / Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects / BuroHappold Engineering

The site for the new San Miguel de Tucumán Civic Center is located on a 17.5 hectare property, 3.8km away from San Miguel de Tucumán. The new campus will bring together seven ministries and six secretariats of the region’s executive power along with all the local public administration services and its 4,700 employees which are now dispersed across the region.

Five buildings will make the new Civic Center campus, with a total of 60,000 square meters built that will be developed in three phases. The new buildings will include local governmental and administrative offices, auditoriums, coffee shops and commercial spaces.

The Landscape complements the buildings with public spaces, exterior circulations, entrance plazas and public parking (1,150 parking places). The landscape mediates the 15 meter elevation difference across the site through a series of terraces and ramps. The landscape bands stitch the building’s ground floors into a seamless continuous circulation with stairs and ramps.

The landscape proposal incorporates sustainable design practices, such as water management and the incorporation of native species in the design. The planting strategy seeks to feature and recover the native flora of the Yungas by proposing the following trees: Jacaranda mimosifolia, Ceiba insignis (white floss silk tree), Schinus molle (Paeruvian pepper), Tipuana tipu (tipa), among others.  Rain water is captured on all impervious surfaces (parking and roofs) during the rainy season and stored in a reservoir for re-use during the drought period.

Silvercup Studios

2005 - NEW YORK, NY, USA



CLIENT Silvercup Studios  / FUNDER Clean Air Communities / SIZE 35,000 ft2 / 3,251 m2 / STATUS Completed 2005 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Shalat Architects, P.C. / Greener by Design / PHOTO CREDIT Mark J. Dye / Joseph Maida

New York City's largest monitored green roof, Silvercup, was designed by Balmori Associates as the first of a series of green roofs planned for Long Island City, dubbed “Long Island (Green) City.” 

Benefits monitored on its green roof: absorption of air pollutants and carbon dioxide; improved outdoor air quality; increased energy efficiency and storm water run-off reduction (a particular burden to the sewer infrastructure of Long Island City). EarthPledge, a non-profit organization promoting technologies for sustainability, installed the Silvercup roof research station. 

Tucumán Airport




CLIENT Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 S.A. /  STATUS  Under Design, 2018 / SIZE 16 ha / 40 acres  / TEAM Balmori Associates / Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects / BuroHappold Engineering

Benjamín Matienzo Airport (or TUC for Tucuman Airport) is to become the third most important air terminal in Argentina for passenger travel and freight.

The regional landscape experience starts along the 200m long boulevard that cuts through a restored dense native forest. As the terminal comes into sight the boulevard merges with the Ceiba speciose, Silk floss trees loop, which leads to the plaza in front of the terminal. The plaza is a perforated plane with a lush garden shaded with Jacaranda trees.

Circulation, safety, and efficiency is key in the design of drop offs and parking at an airport. With multiple raised pedestrian crossings to reach the Ceiba speciose loop it is as if the plaza spilled over towards the (park)ing. 11 raingardens run through the 600 vehicles parking creating an heavily shaded and pleasant space planted with tall grasses an trees.

The oval-shaped three main buildings (departure hall, arrivals, and concessions) are linked together by a green roof, below which the operational, pre-boarding and baggage handling areas will be built. The strong geometries are intended for visitors to Tucuman approaching by plane.

Lola Mora Cultural Center



CLIENT Local government of Jujuy / SIZE 5 ha, 37 acres / STATUS Under design, 2018 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects / BuroHappold Engineering

Lola Mora (1866-1936) was the first Argentinian and South American sculptor. She is author of innumerable monuments across Argentina and the world. The Centro Lola Mora is composed of a museum dedicated to the work of the artist, a convention center and administrative offices. The 15 hectare landscaped site, which will include a sculpture park, and exterior amphitheater, parking and gardens sits on the bank of the Rio Grande and encompasses some of its riparian buffer.

The two biggest challenges of the projects are the site’s topography and climate. To mediate a 70m difference between the northern and southern edges of the property, Balmori Associates proposes implementing a cable railway and sideway elevator, canopy walks, and landscaped terraces. Some of the architectural programs will be tucked underneath existing landform; others will be covered with green roofs.  The intention is to minimize the impact on the site that offers an incredible variety of established plants from the time it was a botanical garden.

The landscape design will incorporate sustainable water management practices to deal with the drought period and torrential flash flood events. This includes the selection of native plants to the design of the embankment of the creek that traverses the site, or retention ponds. The idea is to celebrate water and its absence.