Summit Panelist: Thomas Balsley
June 11, 2016
Thomas Balsley, FASLA
Founder and Principal Designer, Thomas Balsley Associates
Thomas Balsley is the lead designer of Thomas Balsley Associates, a NYC-based urban landscape architecture firm whose work has had a profound impact on the built environment and the quality of life in cities across the U.S. His unique fusion of creativity and innovation with public process has produced extraordinary spaces large and small, provocative and sublime. His firm’s portfolio of award-winning projects and competitions include Dallas’ Main Street Garden, Cleveland’s Perk Park, Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Park, Tokyo’s Gate City and Seoul’s Leeum Samsung Museum of Art. Closer to home, his highly acclaimed parks such as Riverside Park South, Gantry Plaza Park, Hunter’s Point South, Rockefeller Plaza and Capitol Plaza have helped to reshape NYC’s public realm.
In an unprecedented acknowledgement of that contribution, a park on 57th Street was renamed in his honor as Balsley Park. His teaching and speaking engagements at Harvard’s GSD, University of Pennsylvania, the National Building Museum, Seoul National University, etc., together with a wealth of publications and TV appearances, such as BBC’s “Around the World in 80 Gardens”, have exposed his work to a broader international audience. In the Spacemaker Press monograph Thomas Balsley: The Urban Landscape, NYT architecture critic Herbert Muschamp’s foreword states: “Balsley inscribes places with a dual portrait of nature and culture in modern dress.” He is the subject of the recently released monograph Thomas Balsley Uncommon Ground published by ORO with foreword by James Corner and essay by Ian Volner. He is also the 13th recipient of the ASLA’s highest honor, The Design Medal, for a body of exceptional design work.