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.

Owens Corning World Headquarters

1997 - Toledo, OH, USA

Owens Corning World Headquarters

Toledo, OH, USA

CLIENT Owens Corning / STATUS Completed 1997 / SIZE 35 acres / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates

A historic regional form of landscape is restored as a way to link a building to its surroundings. Known as 'oak openings' in prairie planting, this form of landscape was present in Ohio before the arrival of Columbus. Balmori Associates' design scheme conceived of the Owens Corning World Headquarters project as an opportunity to restore this landscape form the area, an island in the Maumee River which was formerly a railroad site and then a dump site. The headquarters is sited on this island, in the heart of downtown Toledo. The oak opening landscape surrounds the whole complex; an intersecting trail for joggers and sightseers runs by the river's edge and through this landscape.

A secluded gated courtyard nestled among the main buildings offers a garden landscape as a contrast to the oak opening prairie outside and provides protected seating during severe seasons.

The meandering willow and dogwood hedge provides enclosure for each individual garden. The arching brick path and parallel row of oak trees define the edge between the courtyard gardens and the great lawn. Outdoor summer concerts are one of the several types of events taking place on the landscape's great lawn.

The oak openings prairie is now established. One section has been geometrically planted with beds of wildflowers, which will eventually disperse their seeds over the whole site

University of California at Riverside

2006 - Riverside, CA, USA

University of California at Riverside

Riverside, CA, USA

CLIENT University of California Riverside / STATUS Completed 2006 / SIZE 145,000 SF / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates

Citrus trees flank an inlaid path that winds through a new courtyard for the arts, unifying the campus buildings, carving out a space for respite, and creating a historical link in a campus originally dedicated to agricultural research on oranges and grapefruits for the California citrus industry. Historical citruses were grown specifically for the project. The path is inscribed with lines of poetry that carry special significance for landscape and the site: Marilou Awiakta's Motheroot, and an excerpt from Virgil's Georgics.

Vassar College Francis Lehman Art Center Courtyards & Sculpture Garden

1994 - Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

Vassar College Francis Lehman Art Center Courtyards & Sculpture Garden

Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

CLIENT Vassar College / STATUS Completed 1994 / SIZE 2,900 SF (entry & sculpture courtyards), 8,600 SF (sculpture garden) / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Pelli Clarke Pelli

At Vassar College, two courtyards and a sculpture garden connect a 1913 art center building to later additions. Voids play against built solids. Traditional and modern materials combine to integrate old and new.

A stone and aluminum bench in the entry court terminates the axis from the new entry pavilion that leads to a sculpture courtyard. This courtyard, an intimate, glass-enclosed space, was designed as a visual extension of the reception area within the art center. Its rotating sculptures sit on a bed of yellow gravel. In the sculpture garden, a large L-shaped area and paved sections intersects with a delicately planted space. Red-leafed plantings ring the garden's perimeter and were chosen as background color for the monochromatic metal sculptures that will be exhibited.

Vassar College Avery Hall

2003 - Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

Vassar College Avery Hall

Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

CLIENT Vassar College / STATUS Completed 2003 / SIZE 1.5 acres / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / PHOTO CREDIT Mary Beth Meehan Photography 

This sunken courtyard was designed to serve as an accompaniment to the Avery Hall performing arts center and a Boyar dormitory. It is to be designed to hold outdoor performances, movie screenings and as an outdoor study space.

Tianjin Culture Park

2009 - Tianjin, China

Tianjin Culture Park

Tianjin, China

CLIENT Tianjin New Library / STATUS Invited Competition Entry 2009 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

The Tianjin Culture Park is both a centralized park that defines the heart of the cultural district and an extension of the surrounding city.  Sweeping arcs of pathways and landscape carve out a layered hierarchy of active public space and parks that unfold, weaving together the cultural, retail, and social architecture of the surrounding areas.  The architecture is embedded with this network of paths and park. Water features facilitate the flow of the landscape through the site while the spines of the adjacent pathways animate the flow of the city. The main promenade moves across the park from the city to the museum, library and performing arts core.  Secondary pathways connect the retail to the museum and the city.  Each of the pathways run parallel to water and defines a character of park.  The central plaza is a grand space for public spectacle and events.  Moving across the site a large canopy with a moon gate separates a market park for smaller scale gatherings and events.  The canopy is repeated 3 times as sculptural elements that both define the different spaces and provide shade and covered spaces for markets, cafes and site amenities.   They canopies are also iconic sculptural elements which frame the architecture and orient the site.  The next space is an entry plaza to the museum and library, with benches and gardens to relax and socialize.  

The water features serve a dual purpose to the park.  They are part of water collection and filtering system and have varying levels to allow for various uses and feeling and light reflection.  The first (starting from the west) is a naturalized pond with interpretations of traditional bridges traversing willow trees and gardens.  The next pool has a few steps that people can sit on and rent a model boat.  The pool leading up to the museums and library is also line with steps and is a shallow reflecting pool – then in times of low rainfall or for events can be drained as additional plaza space or ice skating in the winter.  The pools all engage the architecture, allowing the buildings to borrow the image and feeling of being near the water.  Waterfalls in front of the large iconic canopies feed the water in front of the performing arts center.  Finally, in front of the retail mall, floating decks sit in the water as people eat at cafes under the canopy.  The movement between the levels will be choreographed to provide a visual spectacle, and clean the water.

We propose to make Tianjin Culture Park a Special Ecology Zone or SECOZ: an area that encourages experimentation in groundbreaking ecological technologies, creating a space that demonstrates the leading edge in the transformation of public space into an active ecological engine.  The SECOZ transforms Tianjin Culture Park into a green connector; a continuous swath of green open space filters air and water and provides relief from urban congestion.

Cleveland Clinic Lerner Institute Courtyard

1998 - Cleveland, OH, USA

Cleveland Clinic Lerner Institute Courtyard

Cleveland, OH, USA

CLIENT The Cleveland Clinic Foundation / SIZE 1.5 acres / STATUS Completed 1998 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Inc, / Cesar Pelli Associates

Two parallel paths stretch down the Green, fronting the new 14-story Cleveland Clinic building across the street. The Green is the complex’s unifying core, around which future additions will take place. The paths, lined with benches and trees, are narrow enough to facilitate contact between those sitting across from each other. Careful plantings manipulate perception; telescoping lines of trees mimic perspective, making the green seem longer than it when viewed from the clinic building.

At the other end, a circle of flowering trees closes the perspective. Seen from the highest floors of the clinic, the oval becomes a perfect circle. At ground level, it creates a small, enclosed landscape within the overall linear pattern, suitable for intimate gatherings.

The plant material is appropriate for a campus. White Oaks will become sculptural giants to anchor and frame the whole landscape 50 years hence; Sweetgum will offer fall color; Techny Arborvitae will provide green in the winter; and crab apples supply both spring flowers and fall color. These materials were also chosen for salt tolerance. Two paths, paved with granite and lined with teak benches, travel the full length of the green and serve as circulation corridors between the clinic buildings.

Samsung Learning Center

2007 - Seoul, Korea

Samsung Learning Center

Seoul, Korea

CLIENT Samsung Corporation / STATUS Completed 2007 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, NBBJ Architects

Balmori Associates’ landscape intervention for Samsung’s employee education center tower features multifunctional land burn containing programmatic elements that wraps around the site and its adjacent edges.  This landform is the organizing principle for the Samsung complex and interfaces with the building’s architecture.  The surfaces and materials of this three-dimensional landform create a multilayered interface and the opportunity for new types of spaces.  Alternating sheaves of landscape and architecture exist on both horizontal and vertical planes.

The linear landform flows from existing landmass of the site and its adjacent edges. It is the organizing principle by which a new learning center identity is patterned in the spirit of Samsung’s paradigm. Common materials are used in fresh combinations to create richly layered and textured surfaces and lines. These surfaces and lines are an effort to explore the interface of landscape and buildings. Reconfiguring the space in between and making new connections create more fluid passages- not blurring the line between landscape and architecture – but widening it. This thick interface creates the opportunity for new types of spaces. Thus, the widening of the line is to create transitions- alternating sheaves of landscape and building on horizontal and vertical planes. It is a complex interface that is layered – the thicker the line the better – and results in a new spatial entity.

Shanghai Cultural Plaza

2005- Shanghai, China

Shanghai Cultural Plaza

Shanghai, China

CLIENT City of Shanghai / STATUS Competition finalist, 2005 / SIZE 16 acres / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Beyer Blinder Belle

This park emerges as a continuous green gesture that unifies the diverse built elements of this urban site. The site is fragmented by remnants of various stages of urban development: historic residential buildings, a spaceframe canopy, an underground subway station, and a tree-lined street with bars and restaurants. These disparate pieces have been incorporated into a variety of park spaces through topography, planting and built elements.

A water garden surrounding the historic homes flows into the rest of the park as a series of water pools. A landform ramps below grade to extend the surface of the park to meet the underground subway exit.  A continuous balcony is built on the backside of existing bars and restaurants to open street life onto the park. New features such as a performing arts center and an amphitheater complete the transformation of this site and its diverse built elements into a dynamic cultural space.


Repsol - YPF Headquarters

2008 - Buenos Aires, Argentina

Repsol - YPF Headquarters

Buenos Aires, Argentina

CLIENT Repsol-YPF / SIZE 1 Acre / STATUS Completed 2008 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Pelli Clarke Pelli

Repsol-YPF is located in the up-and-coming district of Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires. The design originally called for a three-story parking garage at the intersection of Macacha Güemes and Juana Manso streets. Balmori Associates buried the parking underground and created a one acre public plaza on top of it.

Patterns and motifs throughout the plaza echo the Pampas’ cultural history of the site. The selection of native and naturalized plants recalls the adjacent ecological reserve’s flora. A pergola runs along the edge of the courtyard while water features and planting beds emerge through a blue recycled glass surface. The six-story winter garden on the 27th floor showcases Argentina’s most important native trees such as Jacaranda.  The design and lighting of the winter garden allow these trees to be seen throughout the city at night.


Building an Urban Living Room

2010 - New York, NY, USA

Building an Urban Living Room

New York, NY, USA

CLIENT Meat Packing District Initiative / STATUS Design proposed 2010  / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Erik de Jong

The proposal for a temporary solution for the public space of Gansevoort Plaza in the Meatpacking District (MPD) used the city’s streets for pedestrian use in a way that is flexible, inexpensive and contextually appropriate. Under the request of the Meatpacking District Initiative, Balmori Associates was given the task to re-imagine the public spaces created by the new traffic alignments and design a language of street furniture and planting that helped define the space. Before beginning to develop our design principles, we first had to ask, what should a public place be? We wanted to engage a wide audience in answering this question. We set up an online forum through live video and twitter and invited landscape architect Erik de Jong and planner Arnold van der Valk, with their 40 Dutch students to discuss urban public space in the American context. We extended the conversation to the neighborhood by participating in a street festival “Conflux City”, and we also made a video that could be shown in various online blogs. We turned this community engagement exercise into a preliminary design scheme where one simple and inexpensive piece of furniture with interchangeable components – a pole and hollow pole base, canopy and rubber mats – can perform the functions of planter, shading, space partition, seating, lighting…even a birdhouse. The flexibility of this solution allows for a variety of layout options, from grouped seating at right angles or in triangles, to a weekend market activities or event space.

BBVA Headquarters

2009 - Madrid, Spain

BBVA Headquarters

Madrid, Spain

CLIENT BBVA / STATUS Competition Finalist 2009 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Zaha Hadid Architects

Our team was one of the two finalist in a bid to design the new headquarters of the leading financial group in Spain. Working with Zaha Hadid Architects and the concept of speed, our landscape proposal emphasized the linearity and movement of the building design in a cohesive banding of planted and paved areas that fillet and constrict in reaction to the built environment.  The initial reasoning behind the concept of speed is consistent with BBVA’s goals of technology and progress.

Topographical shifts in the groundplane help to further define the different areas within the office park. As the linear bands peel away and bifurcate, exterior elements such as seating areas, tables, and enclosures are created as moments of rest within the matrix of speed that makes up the site.  

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.

Pennsylvania Avenue at the White House

2002 - Washington, DC, USA

Pennsylvania Avenue at the White House

Washington, DC, USA

CLIENT National Competition for Government Services Administration / STATUS Competition 2002 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates

The National Capital Planning Commission initiated a competition to create a plan for a safe and beautiful civic space on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House. Currently blocked with jersey barriers and police cars, the avenue has not been open to vehicular traffic since President Clinton ordered it closed in 1995 after the Oklahoma City bombing.  In light of increased national security, the competition sought innovative solutions to integrate security with urban landscape design.

Balmori Associates proposal reinstates Pennsylvania Avenue’s civic prominence.  The plan uses subtle grading shifts to visually elevate the White House and provide security at the intersections of 15th and 17th Streets.  The expanse of the former six lane road is transformed into a dignified pedestrian boulevard through a rhythmic placing of trees, urban furniture and atmospheric lighting. Directly in front of the White House, Pennsylvania Avenue is lowered slightly to reveal three steps. This inflection creates a platform and frames a view of the White House.  The elegant bowing of the grade smoothly reverses itself by rising at the ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to provide the required security barrier in the form of a civic entry staircase.  This promenade is easily converted from a pedestrian plaza to a parade route for inaugurations and other events and guard posts are integrated into a separate security and future trolley circulator on the Lafayette Park side of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Park(ing) Trenton

2006 - Trenton, NJ, USA

Park(ing) Trenton

Trenton, NJ, USA

CLIENT State of New Jersey, Department of the Treasury, Division of Property Management and Construction / STATUS Competition Entry 2006 / SIZE 53 acres / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, ACT Engineers, Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Alan Dye , The Bioengineering Group, City Smiles, Ear Studio, Guy Nordenson and Associates, Urban Trees + Soils

This is a park created out of land liberated through the consolidation of existing surface parking into a stacked system. The newly gained elevation from the parking garage re-creates the bluff that once existed behind the state house, providing a fantastic view of the Delaware River. From this new bluff a gentle descending slope crosses the boulevard and brings you to the river’s edge.

This project is about the creation of a new identity for Trenton’s Capitol Complex through a landscape that unites and relates to the historical context without being tied to the historical concept of a park.

For this competition, we met with local community groups in order to better understand the needs of local users. Our goal was to work with these groups as well as others to ensure that the park is one which serves the people of Trenton. Biking, walking, bird watching, sunbathing, school groups learning about the New Jersey plants and history, these are all activities envisioned for Trenton’s new park.

Princess Diana Memorial Fountain

2002 - London, UK

Princess Diana Memorial Fountain

London, UK

CLIENT The Royal Parks / SIZE 15,000 Sq ft. / STATUS Competition Finalist 2002  / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Atelier Ten / Atelier One / Price & Myers / Sam Price / Long & Kentish / Andrew Grant

To commemorate the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Royal Parks Agency invited proposals for a memorial in London’s Hyde Park; Balmori Associates was among the design firms short-listed.  The competition called for the design of a permanent memorial with a water element as well as a redesign of the surrounding area to contribute positively to the Hyde Park’s historic landscape and ecology.

Situated alongside the Serpentine and historic Serpentine Bridge, Balmori Associates’ proposal elegantly displays the process of water cleansing through a series of terraced water gardens and moss and lichen walls. Water taken from the Serpentine is naturally filtered through gardens of iris and native grasses. The water then aerates in a small garden pond before being drawn into a still reflecting pool, located in the Serpentine. The linearity and serene quality of the water plane contrasts with the dynamic Serpentine; the water is returned to its source. This ongoing purifying cycle provides a series of contemplative gardens and moments in which to reflect on the life and memory of Princess Diana, while enhancing the landscape and supporting ecology of Hyde Park.

Pennine Lancashire Squared Accrington

2009 - Accrington, UK

Pennine Lancashire Squared Accrington

Accrington, UK

CLIENT Pennine Lancanshire Squared / STATUS Competition Finalist, 2009 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / s333 / QUATRO / Larry Barth

The Design for Pennine Lancanshire Squared competition aimed to protect and enhance Accrington’s strongest features, to incorporate new ones from its own history, and to create a distinctive and timeless space with elements, which strengthen the local character, offer new opportunities, and engender civic pride. Through Programmatic Elements Including Radio Free ACCY, a Speakers’ Corner the project brought people together aiding community cohesion.

Peel Square Market Hall has been made the new hub of Peel Square, cornerstone of its regeneration. The hub of activities planned inside and outside (radio station, incubator office, internet café, organic food organization, cabinet for Accrington history display, Speakers Corner, Accrington Pals memorial, see report) all make it the radiating center capable of spilling out in its surroundings and activating them in the form of citizen activities, of additional temporary market stalls, cafes, etc. The space has been designed accordingly as a very simple uncluttered expanse with good quality pavement, an abundance of benches -- which can be reconfigured for flexible spatial arrangements -- and strings of lighting creating a lit-up urban room out of Peel Square. These three elements can be phased. In the end regeneration is about quality of life. It can lead to attracting people to the town and keeping its young people in it. A beautiful place that gives a sense of place, many towns have found , can be the trigger for economic transformation.


Olympics 2012 Equestrian Venue

2004 - New York, NY, USA

Olympics 2012 Equestrian Venue

New York, NY, USA

CLIENT NYC 2012 / SIZE 800 acres / STATUS Design completed 2004 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Joel Sanders Architect

Equestrian trails and pedestrian paths are laid across the Greenbelt Park of Staten Island, the proposed site for the 2012 Olympics equestrian venue. These paths connect to existing paths in the park, establishing a wide network that further links it to the various adjacent neighborhoods.

A sculptural earth mound provides an elevated pathway from which various events can be seen, and it organizes the layout of the venue grounds. It encloses the arena, creating a shelter from wind and flood, its slopes providing comfortable seating for spectators. In addition, it sets up the relationship between the ‘front of house’, the area that is accessible to spectators, and ‘the back of house’ area that is restricted to equestrian-related activities.

Past Olympic grounds have dictated strict separation of the two areas; this proposal, however, rethinks that philosophy. Functional separation is maintained through an elevated mound and a water channel that simultaneously allows perceptual integration with unobstructed views into these restricted areas.

After the Olympic Games, facilities such as the grand arena and stables would remain on the site and be incorporated into the Park as permanent elements to support further equestrian activity. Other facilities would be removed or re-programmed to fit the community’s needs. 


Chubu Cultural Center and Museum

2000 - Kurayoshi, Japan

Chubu Cultural Center and Museum

Kurayoshi, Japan

CLIENT Prefecture of Tottori / STATUS Completed 2000 / SIZE 20,000 square meters 210,000 square feet / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates

A mixed-use complex in the heart of Tottori Prefecture, the Chubu Cultural Center and Museum is intended to reinvigorate the city center and region.  The master plan for the project was designed by Cesar Pelli & Associates in collaboration with Balmori Associates.

The complex comprises a Performing Arts Center, Women’s Center, Museum and two major open spaces, the Kurayoshi Commons and an Outdoor Plaza, which are connected along the property line between the City and the Prefecture.  The Kurayoshi Library, also designed by Cesar Pelli & Associates, lies north of the landscaped Plaza, adjacent to the Cultural Center.

The Performing Arts Center accommodates a 1500-seat symphony hall, a 300-seat multi-purpose theater, a large rehearsal room and support spaces.  The Women’s Center includes a communications salon, children’s center, library and a wide array of seminar rooms.

The new Museum is a showcase for Tottori’s famous “20th Century Pear”, with a seriesof exhibits dedicated to the history and cultivation of this distinctive fruit.  The facility will also support a virtual reality theater.

The Kurayoshi Commons, a glazed public room 42 meters in height, is the central element around which all other components of the complex are organized.  It serves as a lobby for the performing arts facilities, as additional exhibition space, and as a forecourt for the women’s center, restaurant and shops.  Its design is expressive of both the City of Kurayoshi and the Tottori region. 

The Commons and the adjacent Outdoor Plaza offer ideal venues for public gatherings, concerts, fairs and festivals.  The diagonal plan geometry reflects the various city grids which cross the site.  The large wooden trusses that support the extensive glazing relate to indigenous construction techniques.  The paving designs  were based upon the traditional local kasuri fabrics that represented pine bark and fish scales. Nature translated into fabric that was in turn translated into granite paving.

Miami Performing Arts Center

2007 - Miami, FL, USA

Miami Performing Arts Center

Miami, FL, USA

CLIENT Performing Arts Center Foundation /  SIZE 5.8 acres / STATUS Completed 2007 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Pelli Clarke Pelli

The Performing Arts Center, a catalyst for a large urban revitalization project, is located within the Miami-Dade Empowerment Zone and houses a planned arts, media and entertainment district for Miami’s Omni-Venetia area. The Central Plaza for the Arts, designed by Balmori Associates, links the opera house, symphony hall, theatre, and Art Deco tower that sit on either side of the Biscayne Boulevard.  This urban plaza bisects Biscayne Boulevard, thereby creating connectivity between the built forms.  A wide variety of social and cultural public life is supported by the Plaza. 

Furthermore, it can transform from two courts bisected by vehicular traffic into a continuous outdoor plaza for outdoor events when the street is closed.  Landscape elements mitigate the changes in elevation, distinguishing elements from each other while creating transitions between others. Rings of plants and fountains at the plaza’s edge provide a transition between the street and buildings, which are elevated for purposes of flood protection. The fountain, designed by artist Anna Murch, draws upon wave paths to create a space that is animated even in the absence of water.