After it was decided to locate the main concert venue on the building’s top floor to create a covered indoor/outdoor public realm, SWA designed the entire ground level of this venue for traditional Cantonese opera, including a dramatic, covered open-air landscape space. There, an urban stage facilitates movement, provides a gathering space, and enhances the visitor experience, while harmonizing with the architecture. The concept of “Qi” (flow) is expressed in materials, colors, forms, and textures united throughout.
At three main entry areas on the ground floor, the façade was lifted to allow access. SWA worked on the grading and employed sloping planes with a grand curving stairway/ramp/amphitheater to connect them, also determining the levels for architectural space at the sides. The box office exists in the space below the landscape amphitheater seating. Groups of trees at each entry and in the central space bring the outdoors in. Outside, SWA designed paving for the first and second floors of the building as well as two outdoor gardens flanking the main performance hall on the 4th (top) floor. The bold upward move allowed space for a new entrance to the subway and the creation of an outdoor urban living room/garden stepped back from the heavily trafficked street. A parterre of planting and seating there provide separation as well as a dedicated entryway setting. An amphitheater with an outdoor performance area caps off this unique urban destination for the West Kowloon Cultural District.
Work attributed to SWA/Balsley principal John Wong and his team with SWA Group.
325 5th Avenue Plaza
A new residential tower has risen across the street from the Empire State Building. As a zoning incentive, a new public plaza was included to attract and accommodate the area’s tourists as well as its diverse office and residential neighborhood. The space is defined by a clean, contemporary design composition of spaces, elements and custom furniture meant to f...
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.
Gate City Osaki
“I do sculpture as it relates to my designs, and as the sculpture emerges from the designs it becomes collaborative. This is gratifying because the sculpture is very much in keeping with the overall landscaping concept. It is not an afterthought,” writes Tom Balsley. Here we see the full integration of his sculptural expression in the overall landscape design ...
51 Astor Place
At the locus of two famous NYC neighborhoods, East Village and Greenwich Village, this new corner plaza takes full advantage of the vibrant urban life generated by nearby NYU and historic Cooper Union across the street. With a strong architectural alignment of banquette seating, this plaza benefits from its urban context by carefully staging the cherished NYC ...