Toronto Waterfront

2006 - Toronto, Canada

Toronto Waterfront

Toronto, Canada

CLIENT Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation / SIZE 3.5km / STATUS Competition Finalist, 2nd Place, 2006 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / H3Architecture / Lobko Architect / NARCHITECTS / Weiz + Yoez / Halcrow / Sasaki Associates / Snohetta

The finalist scheme for the competition to redesign the Toronto Waterfront was inspired by the city of Toronto’s medley of thriving and lively neighborhoods and international population. Instead of a homogeneous master plan we assembled multiple ideas, inspirations, and visions, and crafted a unique waterfront. The design strategy was to reach into the city to connect the vital urban energy of its streets and neighborhoods to the waterfront, transporting Torontonians out onto the lake to be in it, on it and surrounded by it. Toronto Waterfront’s weather is cold and windy in winter, and hot and breezy in the summer. The public spaces we designed reflected and indicated the rhythms and measures of temperature, wind, light and shadow. This makes a vibrant and variable waterfront experience. We proposed a series of gestures that read at the scale of the entire harbor, at the neighborhood scale, and at the human scale. We conceived specific designs and programming ideas for heads of slip, new piers and a new Queens Quay boardwalk that give each place a unique and magnetic attraction and an iconic waterfront.

Mobisle

2006 - New York, NY, USA

Mobisle

New York, NY, USA

CLIENT City of the Future 2016 /  STATUS Competition Finalist 2006 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Joel Sanders Architect, Consulmar 

Manhattan, by means of an elastic coastline, could become the most flexible and changing of cities over the next hundred years. Climate Change, with its raised level of waters in the Hudson and East Rivers, will bring about loss of shoreline. MOBIsLEs, a fleet of self-propelled islands that circulate around the periphery of Manhattan, can accommodate incremental change over the short and the long term. Our engineering proposal consists of a kit-of-parts built in a factory and literally shipped to the waterfront, composed of modular strips 50 ft. wide and eight ft. deep for open space and 150 ft. wide and sixteen ft. deep for built space. Through the use of water turbines with generators some of these islands can be self -propelled, others can harness the energy of the water to power their programs. Inspired by the logic of dominoes these modular strips come in 20 profiles that can be reassembled to achieve a variety of topographies. MOBIsles can overlap the coastline where the shore permits or they can link with an urban fabric by means of bridge-like extensions of existing street located at major east-west thoroughfares along the length of Manhattan. These access docks would function as recharging stations both for vehicles and for islands themselves.

Kent Falls Trail

2006 - Kent, CT, USA

Kent Falls Trail

Kent, CT, USA

CLIENT CT Dept of Environmental Protection, CT Dept. of Public Works  / SIZE 1/4 mile trail / STATUS Completed 2006 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Vollmer Associates LLP

A green corridor badly eroded through overuse, poor design, and incompetent earlier construction, is not only restored but re-conceptualized through differing levels of intervention. Views along the quarter mile long route are enhanced and smaller spaces for respite and contemplation are created along the way.

The scheme creates new nodes that serve as optional trail branches at times, special lookouts at others, fulfilling functions that the original trail never had. It also proposes a loop rather than a climb and descent through the same trail, as a way of thinking through the ongoing reconstruction process and responding to the need to deflect the public's attention from areas under construction. 

A very short bridge proposed by a sculptor is to cross the stream above the last waterfall, presenting the opportunity of an artistic intervention and adding interest to the trail path. Excessive traffic is reduced by a return trail on the opposite side of the stream. This bridge is to be financed by the local community. Special attention was given to the construction details and materiality of benches, signage, guardrails, stairs, and walls in order to preserve the park's rural character. Lookouts and small intimate spaces were specifically designed to address the site and frame key views. Atypical and sometimes unexpected moments along the trail were given similar attention to detail in order to heighten the scenic experience

Housatonic Fields Bass Trail

2006 - Monroe, CT, USA

Housatonic Fields Bass Trail

Monroe, CT, USA

SIZE 1 mile site/5 mile loop  / STATUS Commissioned Study, 2006 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates

Balmori Associates’ Master Plan for a waterfront park and recreational trail in a quaint, New England town weaves the language of the abandoned railroad spine into the new heart of the town: a waterfront park, a recreational trail, and a new recreational facility for the public and local school systems.  Currently the town framework includes an under-utilized waterfront park, an intact town green with local retail, a historic railroad station structure on the site, and a former industrial building available for conversion to new use.  The town has the resources, and Balmori Associates’ proposal envisions a new future with a park as a catalyst for economic growth and a model to direct future development in a positive direction.