John L. Wong, FASLA, FAAR, PLA
“Collaboration is key. Stay open to suggestions and design ideas from all the project’s players — clients, architects, artists, engineers — and let the best idea move forward.”
John Wong is a Principal at the newly formed SWA/Balsley, and also SWA’s Chairman and the Managing Principal in the firm’s Sausalito, California, studio. Since joining SWA in 1976, John has directed an array of projects, from the design and crafting of small gardens to the large-scale planning and design of neighborhoods, towns, and new communities. He has extensive experience in North America, the Middle East, and Asia—particularly in Japan, Korea, and China. Over the past two decades, John has led more than 150 campus improvement projects at Stanford University, including the award-winning DAPER Master Plan and the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts. He and his teams have designed the groundscapes for 12 of the 100 tallest buildings in the world.
John is inspired by great design, in whatever form: the French gardens of LeNotre; 15th- and 16th-century Italian gardens; 20th-century Minimalist artists (Richard Long, Sol Lewitt, Donald Judd); and Japanese Zen gardens. He believes in collaborating with the best minds in the design field “to push the envelope, raise the bar.” He credits his success with staying open to suggestions and design ideas from all of a project’s players—clients, architects, artists, engineers—and letting the best idea move forward. John has an MLA in Urban Design from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design; a BS in Landscape Architecture, with Honors, from UC Berkeley; and an AAS, with Honors, from the City College of San Francisco. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, a member of the Institute of Urban Design and the Urban Land Institute, and an alumnus of the American Academy in Rome. Among his recent award-winning projects are Guthrie Green Park, in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Center for Active Design Award of Excellence) and UC Davis West Village, the nation’s largest planned net zero community (Northern California ASLA Merit Award).
Great design, in whatever form: the French gardens of LeNotre; 15th- and 16th-century Italian gardens; 20th-century Minimalist artists (Richard Long, Sol Lewitt, Donald Judd); Japanese Zen gardens.
Master of Landscape Architecture in Urban Design, Harvard University Graduate School of Design (1978)
Bachelor of Landscape Architecture with Honors, UC Berkeley (1974)
Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture, American Academy in Rome (1981)
Collaboration is key. Stay open to suggestions and design ideas from all the project’s players—clients, architects, artists, engineers—and let the best idea move forward.
AFFILIATIONS & REGISTRATIONS
Fellow, American Society of Landscape Architects
Fellow, Institute of Urban Design
Fellow, American Academy in Rome
Member, Urban Land Institute
Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), Best Tall Building Worldwide: Shanghai Tower (2016); Cayan Tower (2014); Burj Khalifa (2010 – Global Icon Award)
Center for Active Design (CAD), Award of Excellence (2015); ULI Urban Open Space Finalist (2014); WAN, Best Urban Design (2013): Guthrie Green
ASLA NorCal Chapter, Merit Award, UC Davis West Village (2013); ULI Global Award for Excellence (2013); SCUP Excellence in Landscape Architecture – Open Space Planning and Design, Honor Award (2015): UC Davis West Village