Located on Manhattan’s West Side, Balsley Park, formerly known as Sheffield Plaza, has been transformed from a barren, lifeless plaza into the community’s most cherished common ground.
Following public outcry and many failed attempts to redesign the plaza, Thomas Balsley Associates was hired to build community consensus around a new park-like image and design program that reached a broad constituency with kiosk, café, lawn, garden, green market, and toddler area. The program and security were strengthened with a simple transverse path, which taps into the neighborhood sidewalk energy.
The park is infused with design elements that suggest an escape from the order of the city and its grid, including distinctive colorful ribbon walls and sculptural pipe screens that present a playful park edge alternative to the adjoining buildings. The corner kiosk café is strategically located to overlook both the park and sidewalk activities.
Originally completed in 1972, Perk Park is a vestige of IM Pei’s urban renewal plan. It was built in an era when the street was seen as a menace so parks turned inward. Rolling berms around the edges and sunken areas in the middle, filled with concrete retaining walls, reflected that era. Not surprisingly, the park fell into decline; abandoned by the neighborh...
33 Beekman Street Plaza is a public plaza that also serves as the front entrance to a new 30-story Pace University Dormitory, located in the financial district. The contemporary plaza appearance synchronizes with the contemporary plaza of Frank Gehry’s high-rise residential tower across Beekman Street to South.
Aitken Place Park
Aitken Place Park will be at the heart of Toronto’s East Bayfront Community – currently being transformed from an underutilized industrial brownfield into a vibrant waterfront neighborhood. Flanked by the residential development to the west and the commercial buildings to the north, the park’s water’s edge location presents a unique opportunity to create...
St. Louis Arch Grounds
Spanning three city blocks and linking two vibrant city attractions, the Grounds Connector is an integral but unfinished component of Eero Saarinen’s vision for the St. Louis Arch. This missing link can be partially blamed for the disconnect between a stressed downtown and a popular monument that draws four million visitors per year.
Following an intern...