Mertz Library Humanities

22nd Annual Landscape Design Portfolios Lecture Series: Thomas Balsley

October 5

6:30 p.m. EDT | Register Online

Tom Balsley, FASLA, is a world-renowned landscape architect whose NYC-based studio, SWA/Balsley, is best known for its fusion of landscape and urbanism into award-winning parks and waterfronts, often found in the margins and post-industrial edges of cities. Sparking the public’s imagination, he has reshaped urban public realms throughout the world with robust and sustainable civic spaces that teem with public life and are the source of a warm community embrace.

Balsley has created over 100 such spaces in NYC alone, including the highly acclaimed Hunter’s Point South Park, dual winner of ASLA’s Honor Award in 2014 and 2019. Hunter’s Point South Park also features artist Nobuho Nagasawa’s award-winning site-specific installation, “Luminescence”, which consists of seven, 6 ft diameter dome sculptures representing the seven phases of the moon. This piece, which is on permanent view, absorbs sunlight during the day and glows soft blue at night. Balsley’s presentation will feature this extraordinary new park which has emerged as a global model for resilient waterfronts that is both urban and other-worldly. Others include Gantry Plaza State Park, Chelsea Waterside Park, Main Street Garden Park, Paveletskaya Park in Moscow, and Nelson Mandela Park in Rotterdam.

A noted speaker, he has taught and lectured at Harvard GSD and Penn Design. His work earned him ASLA’s prestigious National Design Medal and a monograph “Thomas Balsley Uncommon Ground” found in MoMA.