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 international outreach, Thomas Balsley Associates was commissioned to complete Saarinen’s 20th century modernist vision with a 21st century landscape and urban design approach. Extensive historical, urban design and site specific research informed a series of conceptual design studies, each revealing dramatic new ways to introduce Arch visitors to downtown St. Louis. All included covering the sunken interstate highway and the “pedestrianization” of the flanking Memorial Boulevard.
The passage and pauses have been carefully conceived as celebrations of the diversity of contemporary urban life and include landscape narratives on the Jefferson Expansion and Lewis and Clark Expedition. Great lawns for celebrations, daily civic gatherings, cafes, interpretive kiosks, interactive fountains, distinctive paving and native plantings have been composed into a distinctive and memorable landscape worthy of its designer and the rich contemporary heritage of the Arch.
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...
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 ...
Chelsea Waterside Park
In 1986, Thomas Balsley Associates was asked by the Chelsea Waterside Park Association to translate this community’s vision for a waterfront park into a design document that would be used to plan the new Route 9-A and the proposed Hudson River Park. Ten years later, when funding for the Chelsea Waterside Park was identified, Thomas Balsley Associates won an in...
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 ...