The redesign of San Jacinto Plaza, a historic gathering place in El Paso’s downtown business district provides a state-of-the-art urban open space, while protecting and celebrating the history and culture of the site. The project was the result of an intensive community process involving input from a wide range of constituents. Active programming, environmental and economic sustainability, and great design have become the de facto criteria for catalyzing renewed interest and investment in the types of urban open spaces exemplified by the updated plaza.
Programming for the park was a main priority, as was the community’s desire to retain some of its historic identity. In response, SWA integrated the existing formal axial paths with informal paths and bridges that take park users to various destinations, including gaming areas for ping-pong, chess, and washoes (a local favorite similar to horseshoes but with water), a children’s splash pad, and a café with colorful seating arrangements. At the park’s center, the designers restored Los Lagortos, a beloved sculpture by Luis Jimenez that pays tribute to the live alligators that inhabited the plaza over 45 years ago. Together with Lake Flato Architects, they created a metal structure to help protect the sculpture from the sun and also to provide a shaded area for activities.
Work attributed to SWA/Balsley principal Gerdo Aquino and his team with SWA Group.
Hunter's Point South Waterfront Park
Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park was envisioned as an international model of urban ecology and a world laboratory for innovative sustainable thinking. The project is a collaboration between Thomas Balsley Associates and WEISS/MANFREDI for the open space and park design with ARUP as the prime consultant and infrastructure designer.
What was once a ba...
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...
Soundview Park, built on 212 acres of landfill at the junction of the Harlem and East Rivers in the South Bronx, is the most significant recreational facility in Community Board 9. As part of the PlanNYC initiative, Thomas Balsley Associates was selected as the lead designer of Soundview’s master plan. This brownfield remediation will drastically improve both ...
A new office tower, theater and café pavilion known as Alameda is being built in the high end district of downtown Sao Paulo; the centerpiece of the site design is the Alameda civic plaza. Lifted gently above the street level, four generous steps invite visitors to enter and explore the plaza while branded light pylons at all major entrances serve as place mar...