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.

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)

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

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

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. 

Puerto Triana Development Sevilla




SIZE 40,000 m2 / STATUS Competition Winner 2007 / Completed 2016 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects / AYESA

The central idea behind the landscape design for Puerto Triana Development is on the one hand to create a shaded and cool path, with sounds and vapors of water, and variations in the degree of shade and shadows. On the other, two terraces on commercial podiums into the pubic circulation patterns doubling the pedestrian walking space (under construction).

West 53rd Street

2017 - NEW YORK, NY, USA



CLIENT Algin Management / SIZE 15,000 sq ft / STATUS Under Construction / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / CetraRuddy

The organization of West 53rd Street was generated by an urgent need for programmatic flexibility in limited outdoor terrace spaces. Interior green spaces and terraces were carefully planned and designed to accommodate a multitude of activities from the more private garden use to large scale communal events. 

This project started with a research into the various types of activities that a residential complex could accommodate in terraces of various light, wind and noise characteristics. By analyzing and fully understanding the nuances and intricacies of how residents might use their outdoor spaces over time, we were able to create spaces that are responsive to the various user types throughout the day in four different seasons.

West 53rd Street Blue Roof

New Hancher Auditorium

2016 - Iowa City, IA, USA


Iowa City, IA, USA

CLIENT University of Iowa / SIZE 7.6 acres / STATUS Completed 2016 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Confluence / Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects PHOTO CREDIT Pelli Clarke Pelli

In 2008 a dramatic 500 year flood devastated a large portion of the Iowa University Art Campus. Balmori Associates’ set out to re-imagine the relationship between the Iowa River and its surrounding landscape where the Arts Campus resides.  Balmori's Master Plan for the Arts Campus that provides the river and university with new currents of connectivity, creativity, and environmental performance. 

Topographic depressions around the New Hancher Auditorium create spaces that are flexible and configured to embrace the variable character of the river. These depressions are designed to provide public space for large outdoor performances and social events, but also allow for the river to expand during large flood events. 

Considering the larger effects of the 2008 flood, Balmori’s strategy can be seen as a prototype for water management, that if replicated on a regional level would be capable of attenuating increased flooding threats brought about by the urbanization of the Iowa River Corridor. Additional areas of water treatment and infiltration serve to collect, clean and permeate storm water on site instead of piping it directly into the river. This decreases water flow and velocity of water in the Iowa River implementing a soft approach to flood prevention, a strategy that becomes a powerful flood management tool when repeated. 

Shanghai Bund




CLIENT Shanghai Urban Planning Administration Bureau / Shanghai Municipal Engineering Administration Bureau / Shanghai Municipal Committee for the Development of Huangpu River Corridor / The People’s Government of Huangpu District, Shanghai / SIZE  20 by 2.5 km, 12.3 acres / 50,000 m2 / STATUS Competition Finalist 2008 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Beyer Blinder Belle / Yuliang Hong

Selected as one of the ten teams to compete for this project for the Shanghai Bund. We focused on a supremely ecological scheme and designed each ecological move into an aesthetic public experience (the Shanghai Bund attracts up to 100,000 visitors a day).

 In response to high pollution levels in the water and the river being prone to flooding, Balmori’s proposal restores the Bund as a continuous 2.5 Km/20 meter wide public promenade that connects river and city. The surface is a sculpted horizontal topography that mediates between access to the river and raised views across the city. It is an open and porous plan which allows for sustained movement of both people and water. 

The ecological features: a) floating vegetated islands engineered to clean the river water with native riparian plant species. These islands are also designed to generate their own electricity with underwater turbines. These vegetated islands float on the river, rising and falling with the changing tides, and form a river edge that is aesthetic and functional, as well as fixed and adaptive.  b) Photovoltaic panels along the sea wall produce energy for street lights. c) Hard surfaces are coated with titanium dioxide that transforms air pollution into harmless, inert compounds that wash away in the rain. d) Stormwater filtration is provided by a series of submerged sand filters and UV disinfection units beneath the walkways. Once the water is cleaned it is then reused on site in fountains and ponds.

The Bund, continuing the tradition of innovation in China, and the SEZs (special economic zones) are imagined as a SECOZ (Special Ecology Zone).

Arc Wildlife Crossing

2010 - DENVER, CO, USA



CLIENT US Department of Transportation / SIZE 1.5 acres / 0.6 hectares / STATUS Competition Finalist 2010 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Studio MDA / Knippers Helbig Inc / David Skelly / CITA / Bluegreen / Davis Langdon

The United States has one of the most extensive road transportation networks in the world. The system of roads that facilitates so well the movement of people and goods imposes substantial obstacles to the other species sharing our environment. Animals cross roads because their lifestyles depend on the use of resources that are distributed in space. 

Whether we provide the means to ease these movements or not, they occur with great frequency. Resulting collisions with vehicles represent a safety hazard for travelers, a significant financial burden, and a threat to the viability of species populations located in landscapes dissected by roads.

The Modular Crossing System utilizes the surrounding landscape in order to create a new shape inspired by nature. The design uses a low tech system of layering wood planes to create an easily modifiable shape. The main design intent of the crossings is a structure derived from the abstraction of the topographical layers in the landscape above. The wood for this system suggests the utilization of local trees felled or weakened by disease e.g. red pine in Colorado.

Prairie Waterway Stormwater Park

1996 - Farmington, MN, USA



CLIENT Sienna Corporation and City of Farmington, MN / AWARD League of Minnesota Cities Achievement Award / STATUS Completed 1996 / SIZE 200 acres / PHOTO CREDIT Bordner Aerial

For a new development in the suburb of Minneapolis, we proposed a drainage system with a dual purpose: provide drainage for the development of nearly 500 homes and create and function as a public space. Dubbed ‘Park Place’ by local residents, the 91-acre park has now become an integral part of the community, not only as a part of infrastructure, but also as a public amenity. 

A series of strategies are used to temporarily store excess water and mitigate the risks of flooding through a swale system, ponds and channels planted with grasses and sedges. It resolves environmentally the issue of frequent flooding in a flat plain-with a high water table and peak storm volumes-emptying in the Red River.

The designed riparian system consists of a civic lawn on axis with the downtown area, flanked by playing fields, bike paths and pedestrian paths; glimpses of wildlife are provided by the wetlands associated with this urban waterway.

West 53rd Street Blue Roof

2017 - New York, NY, USA

West 53rd Street Blue Roof

New York, NY, USA

CLIENT Algin Management / COST N/A / STATUS Under Construction / SIZE 15,000 SF / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Cetra Ruddy Architecture

The New York City Building Code requires rooftops to retain water and slowly release it into the sewage system. The code is designed to alleviate overburdening sewage system with storm water. Going beyond the purely utilitarian blueroof, this garden attempt to simulate peace in a hectic inner city environment. Conceived as a designer’s blueroof, this gravel garden curates both pedestrian and water flow.

View West 53rd Street

Singapore Rail Corridor

2015 - Singapore, Singapore

Singapore Rail Corridor

Singapore, Singapore

CLIENT Urban Development Authority UDA / STATUS Competition Proposal 2015 / SIZE 24km / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, MAD Architects

The model we are proposing as an approach to the treatment of the Singapore Rail Corridor is one of integration of biological and cultural models. The introduction of the past history of the site is our way of adopting a biological model and by that uniting nature and culture. In the words of Nobel Prize Winner Francois Jacob, “living things are in fact historic structures; they are really the creation of history.” When applied to the Corridor, this framework of nature, history, culture, and structure integrates the site’s underlying ecology, industrial past, surrounding communities, and unified future. Such an integrated framework has resulted in a layered concept master plan that uses flexible infrastructure to promote movement along the corridor. Similar to the trains that once moved through the site, we see the flow of community, ecology, culture, and the city along the corridor’s 24 km as central to the plan. Our concept targets the urban and ecological nodes in which these streams of the city mingle. To expand their impact, we will use strategies, including: iconic mobile culture hubs that can host performances and installations, expansive structural and botanical hybrids, and integrated mobility networks. Central to all of these strategies and the others that follow is a sense of movement. The Rail Corridor should act as a living thing—transporting people, ideas, and wildlife throughout the country to nourish the national identity and spirit.

Botanical Research Institute of Texas

2011 - Fort Worth, TX, USA

Botanical Research Institute of Texas

Fort Worth, TX, USA

CLIENT Botanical Research Institute of Texas / SIZE 12 acres + Green Roof & Walls / STATUS Completed 2011 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture  /  LEED Platinum Certification

Given the heat and the continuous presence of the Texas sun, the play of light andshade became a design frame. Water management was very important in this project since droughts are followed by torrential rains.  The parking lot along with the roofs is part of an active stormwater management system and research field, an ecological working system. Water then needs to be contained, cleaned and stored for drought-period reuse.  Additionally, the water collected from roofs is stored in a cistern and reused for supplying a pond and for watering plants in a drought, and the roof. The green roof is also a niche for preserving the beautiful Fort Worth Prairie in a new form for the future. 

The main entrance, which unites the Botanical Research Institute to the Botanic Garden consists of a major display of plantings based on “Systematics,” a type of research which is the core mission of BRIT. BRIT describes systematics as research seeking an understanding of evolutionary relationships among species—in other words, looking at species not as fixed entities but as evolving systems. Another element of our design is the representation of the Fort Worth Prairie geological strata: thin limestone and sands are recast as a set of seating ledges for the outdoor education space. The sustainable image of the institute is broadcast also by the walls of the herbarium which are designed with overlapping vines.

The Solaire

2003 -New York, NY, USA

The Solaire

New York, NY, USA

CLIENT Albanese Development Corporation  / SIZE 9,530 SF / STATUS Completed 2003 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Pelli Clarke Pelli

As the first ‘green’ residential high-rise in the United States, the Solaire building has introduced a new intercon­nection between architecture, its urban setting, and landscape in sustainable design. Balmori Associates col­laborated with the design architects, Cesar Pelli & Associates, to incorporate ecologically beneficial green roofs and a hydrological system into the infrastructure of the building.

Balmori Associates employed two types of green roofs for Solaire: an extensive vegetated roof, or a covering of groundcovers and sedums in 4” of growing medium; and an intensive green roof, which has deeper planting beds for a variety of vegetation ranging from perennials to bamboo trees. Located on the 19th floor, the inten­sively planted rooftop provides outdoor public space for the residents of the building, high above the city.

There are many ecological benefits to the inclusion of the greens roofs. They absorb solar heat which in turn lowers the building’s temperature, saving energy, and helping to mitigate the urban heat island effect. Rainwater is absorbed by the vegetation, reducing the amount of storm water entering the municipal system, and is cleaned of heavy metals and pollution in the process. The excess run-off is collected in a basement cistern, along with the building’s grey water, and is later used to irrigate the green roofs as necessary and is channelled to nearby parks.

Balmori Associates was given a 2004 Green Roof Award of Excellence for their design by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. The Solaire was the first building to be designed in response to an ambitious set of new guide­lines for green architecture developed by the Battery Park City Authority. It has been awarded a Gold Leed Rating and received New York State’s Green Building Tax Credit. In 2002, Solaire was one of five projects selected by the United States Department of Energy to represent the nation at the International Green Building Challenge in Oslo, Norway.

Earth Pledge

2002 - New York, NY, USA

Earth Pledge

New York, NY, USA

CLIENT Earth Pledge Foundation / STATUS Completed 2002 / SIZE 975 SF / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Licalzi Consulting Engineers, Mark Licalzi / MGA Architecture, Walter Radtke

The construction of the Earth Pledge (EP) Kitchen Garden green roof inspired Earth Pledge, a New York City not- for profit, to embark on the Green Roofs Initiative, its ongoing project to facilitate green roof development in New York City as an ecologically sound and economically viable solution to urban and environmental problems.

In 1998 Earth Pledge renovated a 1902 Georgian Townhouse to serve both as their office showcase for sustainable materials and technologies.  Over 70 companies contributed.  Diana Balmori, principal of the landscape design firm Balmori Associates proposed a green roof system atop the new Workspace project.  An avid gardener, Earth Pledge’s Executive Director, Leslie Hoffman, immediately adopted the idea, seeing it as a beautiful means of dovetailing the organization’s two central programs of Sustainable Agriculture and Cuisine and Sustainable Architecture and Design

Earth Pledge and Diana Balmori partnered to design the roof to suit EP’s needs. Balmori designed the roof to highlight the wide variety of plant life available for green roofs, including native flowers and vegetables.  The design exploited the unexpected juxtaposition of its midtown Manhattan locale with the principles of organic gardening.  Herbs and flowers were planted in parapet planter boxes around the perimeter of the roof to increase the amount of growing area.   

Since its initial design and construction, the Kitchen Garden has evolved to reflect EP’s diverse interests.  The northern plot remains devoted to annual vegetables, including heirloom tomatoes and eggplants, and perennials such as beebalm, lavender and sage, taking advantage of its “semi-intensive” depth of 8-12” of substrate.  The southern plot, with a depth of 2-4” of growing medium, has been converted to a more typical “roof meadow” style green roof, featuring several varieties of sedum.  This “extensive” portion of the roof is a model for the kind of low-maintenance green roof infrastructure that the Green Roofs Initiative facilitates and promotes.   Meanwhile, the northern garden plot continues to demonstrate horticultural possibilities for stronger roof structures in New York City. 

The Earth Pledge green roof embodies the basic principles behind the Green Roof Initiative: that it is possible to create sustainable, beautiful solutions to pressing urban problems.  As New York City becomes a center for green roof development, the Earth Pledge roof will continue to evolve and thrive.

Talgar Master Plan

2007 - Talgar, Kazakhstan

Talgar Master Plan

Talgar, Kazakhstan

CLIENT Alau Co. LLP / STATUS Competition Entry , 2007 / SIZE 6 acres / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Space Group

The landscape design for this project was an active ecological surface, filtering, cleaning, building and sustaining Talgar and the regional surrounds. Innovative development strategies add a layer of ecological infrastructure that enhance the diversity and richness of the site. The site operates as a responsive habitat, constantly evolving and changing according to the ecological processes and social usage patterns.

This fluid development strategy twines the landscape with development blurring the lines between both. Swaths of open space that protect sensitive natural features, steep slopes and wetlands, allow for fluid movement of both people and nature between site conditions. Considered insertions of residential and commercial development will advantage the spectacular setting and respect the existing terrain while maximizing site development potential. A unique system of physical and visual passages and linkages between the region and the people, the constructed and the natural, the ground and the sky, it allows for free movement from one realm to the other. With few barriers in Talgar, enhanced interactions will contribute to an environmentally responsible, adaptable and efficient development. This strategy will reach beyond the site as Talgar engages adjacent developments and landscapes.

Talgar was designed to be a Loop City with zero waste. In nature, all waste from one system becomes the food for another. Loop City emulates nature’s efficiency; independent but interconnected infrastructure systems help reuse waste and reduce pollution while taking care of essential development functions.

Bronx Greenway

2004 - Bronx, NY, USA

Bronx Greenway

Bronx, NY, USA

CLIENT The South Bronx Green Roof Community Outreach Project  / STATUS Completed 2004 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Sustainable South Bronx, Columbia UniversitySchool of Public Health

The initiative is a collaboration among Sustainable South Bronx, the Columbia University Mallman School of Public Health, Cool City Project and Balmori Associates. Key goals are to create a network of living roofs in the South Bronx, monitor and document the benefits, and promote the use of living roofs throughout the South Bronx and the rest of the city.

The South Bronx is an ideal candidate for a network of living roofs. There is a dearth parkland and it has an extremely disproportionate amount of environmental burdens including than two dozen transfer stations, a sewage treatment plant and a sewage sludge pelletizing plan that plagues the area with odors and debris. Many of its citizens are especially vulnerable to the stresses of the urban heat island effect which can be severe in neighborhoods where the line population is elderly and lives in non-air conditioned apartments, surrounded by vast amounts of tree-less impervious surfaces.

In the urban context, the landscape is an active, living agent capable of changing local and regional conditions. A network of living roofs is a powerful new type of landscape which will play a significant role in reducing the city’s “heat island” effect: retaining and reusing storm run-off; and establishing many small, personally pleasurable oases in a landscape dominated by hot, tamed surfaces.      

Asian Culture Complex

2005 - Gwangju, Korea

Asian Culture Complex

Gwangju, Korea

CLIENT Executive Agency for Culture Cities / MCT / SIZE 118,170 m2 / STATUS Competition, honorable mention, 2005 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / iArc, LLP

The Asian Culture Complex should be a place where new culture emerges, rather than manufactured by institutions. Emergence can be achieved by maximizing social contacts, in other words, network complexity. As an urban strategy, differentiation of the whole site into smaller parts is executed by continuing existing and neighboring urban fabric, further being transformed by programmatic interpretations. Then the parts are connected with each other according to specific relationships between sub-programs, forming a 3D complex of nested networks. Two distinct network organizations emerge out of it; programmatic network (shop¬ping, eating & drinking, learning, conferencing, showing & playing, working and living) and ecological network (park, water and wind). The interest is in generating urban capability of producing a flexible system that is dynamically adaptable, a creative system that can adjust itself freely to temporal events and urban challenges. The differentiated connectivity of each network plays a vital role in modulating its emergent system. The question of what is culture and what is Asian will be constantly redefined and re-generated by means of this new urban system

The technique of generating a form for composites of landscape and architecture is instigated from close reading of spatial organization of existing urban fabric. Seemingly random urban development which pervades the central district of Gwangju, in fact, reveals an intricate sys¬tem of connected interstitial spaces. Alleys, courtyards, plazas, sometimes a large private front yard for an institution, are interconnected each other, bounded by elaborate randomness of buildings around. The relationship between buildings and open spaces is reinterpreted as positive/negative of a relief and generates a latent 3D pattern for a new typology between landscape and architecture.


2006 - New York, NY, USA


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.