The new Opera District celebrates the adjacent spectacle of the world’s tallest building, while embracing the rhythm of everyday life. For three distinct mixed-use areas within the nearly 100,000-square-meter District anchored by the namesake opera house, SWA’s layered landscape architecture provides visual and experiential coherence using the concept of a musical score as an overall design generator. This theme extends throughout residential, retail, boulevard, promenade, event, and park spaces. The landscape layout references a musical staff in three sections running from west to east, upon which the paving and furniture designs (or “notes”) are organized and presented. In addition, a green ribbon threads from north to south throughout the District, gathering the buildings and plazas in its loose embrace. This harmonious yet flexible whole sets the stage for activating the “people space” requested by the client, areas which are modeled in spirit after European squares.
Work attributed to SWA/Balsley principal John Wong and his team with SWA Group.
East Riverfront Visions Plan
What is now three miles of underutilized and neglected waterfront property is envisioned as a vibrant new mixed-use community, with a dramatic ribbon of riverfront parks and walkways that are intertwined with small neighborhoods and upland connections. A new open space system was conceived and given form as a critical component of the vision plan in which Tho...
Queens West Open Space Master Plan
Queens West is a new mixed-use community planned for the Long Island City shoreline, directly across from midtown Manhattan and the United Nations. Central to its urban plan is an extensive open space system that includes upland and waterfront parks as well as streetscape. Beginning with conceptual plans the Thomas Balsley Associates team, together with Weintr...
Rijskaya District Master Plan
Dubai Expo 2020
From October 2021 to April 2022, the City of Dubai will host the World Expo: a large-scale International Registered Exhibition that will bring nations together with universal themes and immersive experiences. It will comprise an entire new city, built on a 1,083-acre site between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The Expo site is organized around a central plaza linked to ...