Magok Water (Works)

2007 - Seoul, Korea

Magok Water (Works)

Seoul, Korea

CLIENT The City of Seoul / SIZE 30 Acres / STATUS Competition Entry, 2007 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates

Water (Works) is a public park and an ecological infrastructure that is formally shaped by the flow of water. The park is a sophisticated network of ecological processes that weaves linear public space with natural and experimental technologies. Water (Works) is a working model of the park as an urban regenerator and prototype for future development. It is the green heart of the new R&D zone, an immersive environment of water remediation and a regional playground. Water (Works) is an ‘enhanced’ natural air and water cleaning infrastructure. Wetlands, phytoremediation, blackwater treatment and air cleaning trees form the basis of the layout and plantings. The living machine provides clean air, water and soil. Park paths and strips of program move alongside working wetlands, squash fields are framed by algae tanks and the convention center and marina are interlaced with the water system. The Marina engages the Han River, bringing it into the park as a lively recreational port. The Marina doubles as both social mixing zone and the final cleansing reservoir in the Water (Works). It is protected from summer flooding be a levee and gate system that serves as an outlook over the park and river. The nature of R&D is innovative and often unexpected. The sublime nature of the park posits the traditional park programs can coexist and thrive alongside cleansing and energy producing landscapes. Water (Works) is an educational park for children as well as an experimental think tank and laboratory for ecology and green technology.


Long Island Green City

2005 - Long Island City, NY, USA

Long Island Green City

Long Island City, NY, USA

CLIENT Silvercup Studios / SIZE 35,000 SF / STATUS Long Island Green City 2002-2003 (ongoing), Silvercup Studios completed 2005 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates 

This proposal developed as a result of a presentation given by Diana Balmori in June of 2002 at a conference entitled Case Studies of Greens in New York City. The network of elevated trains and roadways overhead provides a panoramic view of the 11.7 million square feet of rooftops (belonging mainly to one-story industrial buildings).

The study examines an increased urban population's effect on the natural environment. As cities expand and become increasingly populated, paved impervious surfaces multiply, leading to higher temperatures (heat-island effect) and increased storm water runoff, taxing the city's existing infrastructure. What resulted was the largest green roof ever installed in New York City and the first to monitor scientific data, the Silvercup green roof has been designed by Balmori Associates as the first of a series of green roofs planned for Long Island City over the next decade.  Balmori Associates conceived of and is implementing this plan for the neighborhood, dubbed “Long Island (Green) City.”

Expected benefits from the Silvercup green roof—which is equal parts roof garden, insulation system, and sponge—include 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); and, for the first time in New York, the gathering of data to quantify benefits. EarthPledge, a non-profit organization devoted to identifying and promoting technologies for sustainability, has installed the Silvercup roof research station. 

Hua Qiang Bei Road

2011 - Shenzhen, China

Hua Qiang Bei Road

Shenzhen, China

CLIENT Bureau City Government of Shenzhen /  STATUS Commissioned 2011, Under Development / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Work AC / ARUP / Zhubo Engineering / Zhubo

In 2010 Balmori Associates and Work AC won an invited competition to redesign a 1 kilometer section of Hua Qiang Bei Road in Shenzhen. The design responds to the area’s growing commercial character by improving flows, organizing traffic and enhancing the pedestrian environment with a green streetscape.

To strengthen the identity of Hua Qiang Bei Road we created a series of nodes of activity that project a vibrant new vision for the district’s future. These nodes take on different scales. The most visible are the five “lanterns” that define a new space of the street, in the sky, providing connections and enabling a major expansion of public space. We imagine the “lanterns” to resonate with the famous entrance gates to traditional Chinese streets, creating a strong and memorable image. The lanterns are like the needles of acupuncture: used at only a few, precise points to bring energy and organize the flows around them, letting the street breathe better between. They are also bridges, connecting one side of the street to the other. We also provided a wide variety of shade trees and seating types, our designed fountains and paving will improve both air flow and pedestrian flow.

This is a new kind of urban design approach, we call it urban acupuncture: acting precisely and strategically to get through all the channels to create the maximum impact using minimal means. We use a systematic and synthetical Urban design method to combines the softness of landscape design, the precision of traffic engineering, and the power of architecture to improve flows, strengthen identity, and create new public space.


Godrej Campus Master Plan & Corporate Headquarters

2015 - Mumbai, India

Godrej Campus Master Plan & Corporate Headquarters

Mumbai, India

CLIENT Godrej Properties / STATUS Completed 2015 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Pelli Clarke Pelli /Atelier 10

A large park will form the heart of this mixed-use development, with unique and colorful pocket parks integrated into the spaces between the architecture. Rooted in Godrej’s commitment to ecology and sustainability, the overall landscape concept is designed to manage the site’s water; complementing the building programs and activities. Water, both abundant and scarce, is a valuable resource in the Mumbai landscape. Various measures collect storm water during the summer and use it when rainfall is limited. All buildings, infrastructure and landscape will be built with the unique ecological condition of Mumbai in mind.

 Godrej Headquarters is the first piece of the master plan development. The celebration of water is the central idea for the landscape spaces which weave throughout the building. Integrated water systems move through the project’s tree swales and green roofs that collect, clean and recycle the water. This water is then used for irrigating the plantings and replenishing the Water Gardens. The landscape enters the project through interior lobbies and atriums. Native water gardens frame the headquarters. Bamboo fills the atrium with veil like planting to the skylights. Terrace gardens define the façade and create lushly planted spaces within the building. All plantings are native and adaptive species that require less water. The planting design was qualified as part of the LEED Platinum certification of this project.

University of Buffalo Solar Park

2010 - Buffalo, NY, USA

University of Buffalo Solar Park

Buffalo, NY, USA

CLIENT University of Buffalo / New York Power Authority (NYPA) / STATUS Competition Finalist, 2010 / SIZE 6 acres / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Inc.

Balmori Associates with their proposal of “Public Power Park“ was chosen as one of three finalists out of 20 artists invited to compete for the design of a new ‘Solar Park’ by the university of Buffalo with the New York Power Authority (NYPA). The installation was required to use 5,000 solar panels within a landscape to produce energy for the student housing and proposed one of the largest on any campus in the United States. Balmori’s proposal addresses the nature of technological infrastructure, where nature and technology intersect and proposes a new kind of public space, one that is a programmed response to producing power, and powering public space.

Modeled after the lake effect, Solar Effects captures weather to produce power and public space. The lake effect marries wind, humidity, temperature and topography creating a powerful weather machine that shapes our collective experience of landscape. This phenomenon drifts through the sky painting the land with rain and snow.  The solar grid is pixilated and reordered along the flows of wind and people. The drifting arrangement and varying heights of the panels form a solar topography, optimized for peak power production.  Solar education and demonstration are embedded in the project. Water collects in the gently undulating meadows.  Mirrors dot the underside of the panels, sparkling in the sun and moonlight, further increasing the solar efficiency of the system.  Snow cones register snow and ice in playful sculptures embedded into the structure of the system and an interactive Solar Iceberg glows with the latest solar technologies.