BBVA Headquarters


Role: Project Designer  -  Location: Madrid, Spain  -  COMPETITION FINALIST

Our team was one of the two finalist in a bid to design the new headquarters of the leading financial group in Spain. Working with Zaha Hadid Architects and the concept of speed, our landscape proposal empahsized the linearity and movement of the building design in a cohesive banding of planted and paved areas that fillet and constrict in reaction to the built environment.  The initial reasoning behind the conecpt of speed is consistent with BBVA’s goals of technology and progress.

The Linear Bands that BBVA_quadmake up the design of the landscape were thought of primarily in three different typologies: line bypass object, line, as object, and line as field. Planting was approached also with the introduction of four typologies that aim to define the character of the space within the sites and help to define programmatic conditions. Using the different formal and planting typologies were were able to create varied spaces throught the ground level as well as rooftop garden spaces so that the design had playful suprise while still working as a cohesive whole.BBVA_LinearScheme

Topographical shifts in the groundplane help to furthur define the different areas within the office park. As the linear bands peel away and bifurcate, exterior elements such as seating areas, tables, and enclosures are created as moments of rest within the matrix of speed that makes up the site.  Efforts to maintain a dialogue between the interior and exterior allowed for the formal and planting elements in the landscape to penetrate into the interior atriums and lobbies of the buildings and blurr the boundaries between inside and outside.



Balmori Associates team includes- Project Manager: Mark Thomann, Project Designers: Alice Feng, Angela Soong  /  commissioned by Zaha Hadid Architects

Hudson Park + Boulevard

HudsonYards_BigBlockStreetRole: Designer  -  Location: New York City, NY  -  COMPETITION FINALIST

image by WorkAC


image by balmori associates

The design conceptualized a series of vibrant and varied urban spaces that would act as a dynamic icon. The heart of the study was to be an extraordinary experience featuring, as its focus, a series of ‘Super City Parks’. The overall precinct consisted of active and passive programs, built and open spaces, likely sponsored through both public and private development. New pieces of cities such as the Wild West Side neighborhood and the Low Line were introduced as locales of living systems that make the city part of a new nature. This nature consists of living creatures and their environment made into one, where the new city parts work like parts of nature. This proposal creates a piece of city which saves water, harnesses the sun’s power, cleans air and water through vegetation not only on the ground but in the roofs and walls of surrounding buildings.
Ultimately, the West Side of Manhattan is to be transformed into a seamless integration of the urban realm and the new development, a platform for urban rebirth.


image by balmori associates


image by balmori associates

Balmori Associates team includes- Project Manager: Kira Appelhans, Designers:Alice Feng, Angela Soong, Marta Rabazo, Annie Phaosawasdi, Monica Hernandez, Heather Kilmer  /  in collaboration with WorkAC Architects  /  commissioned work from Fritz Haeg

Amman Performing Arts Center

08_0515_APAC_sitePlan_CRole: Project Designer  -  Location: New York City, NY  -  COMPETITION WINNER

The site is located in the heart of the city, and is a part of the ambitious goal that Amman Municipality is planning to complete by 2011. Surrounded by evolving civic, public institutions as well as ancient relics like the Roman amphitheatre, the aim is to integrate the new Amman Performing Arts Center with both the old fabric of the city as well as the other new developments. Located between the primary east and west developments of the city center, the site minimizes the gap between these two parts of the city, through design and designated activities, into one unified and harmonic urban fabric that becomes the greater Amman.

The Urban Strategy was to AmmanPAC_RampPlazamaximize the open space area on the western side of the site, therefore the mass of the new building was pushed deep into the eastern extension of the site to allow for a bigger public plaza in front. The plaza is seen as a catalyst for activity on the site as well as a nexus for the GAM strip. A diagonal underpass was proposed between the GAM strip and the grand plaza.

water+plaza final 2The Formal Strategy was in keeping with the architectural approach which was inspired by the Monument of Petra, an artificial sanctuary in the ancient city of Petra. The principle of “fluid erosion” and “carving” was applied to the groundplane to articulate the public spaces surrounding the building. Topographic considerations of the groundplane aim to deliniate space and facilitate orientation. One of these is how the surface of the public plaza gently rises to meet the foyer.  The cascade of steps that flow down the steep slope just behind the building serves to bridge the east and west adjacencies to the site.
Local stones were the chosen paving material and Date Palm, Almond, and Olive trees which are native to the region were selected.  Jordan’s official national flower, The Black Iris will be a planted feature that reinforces the cultural empAmmanPAC_Foresthasis of the project.Print

Balmori Associates team includes- Project Manager: Mark Thomann, Project Designer: Alice Feng  /  commissioned by Zaha Hadid Architects

Central Open Space M.A.C.

Macos_MainShotRole: Designer  -  Location: New City, South Korea  -  COMPETITION FINALIST

image by balmori associates

10 Li Park evolves from the overlay and intersection of two forms of open space: the central ring and the linear loop. The central ring is a vast space for recreation, cultural experience and nature, while the linear loop spins off the ring to climb the nearby mountains and stretch out along the river. They form the foundation from which the park grows, organically, in tandem with the city around it.

The 10 Li Ring is vast and horizontal, a sublime and powerful landscape of emptiness and openness with expansive views. As an expression and abstraction of the li, a traditional Korean unit of measurement, the Ring is a bold statement at the interface between the historic and the modern, the natural and the constructed. Within the Ring, the rice fields are preserved and given new life as productive works of experiential art. They form a surreal and beautiful landscape that shifts dramatically with each season, yet also generate funds for park maintenance through rice sales. Along the Ring are the three museums, porous structures that stitch themselves itself into the cultural and physical fabric of the park, bridging the gap between public and private, building and landscape, art and everyday life.

Macos_FireflyTMacos_LowTidehe Li-near Loop spins out of the Ring, weaving through the site to create and unite various and far-flung nodes of activity along its length. It is the primary circulation path and the main line in the park’s succession and growth. All program and park spaces develop out of this loop in time as nodes along the spine that can vary in size, function, and aesthetic. From large and monumental sites to small, hidden treasures, the Li-near Loop offers a variety of experiences for those exploring off the path. By routing cars through a tunnel under the levee and thickening surface width, the levee becomes part of the Li-near Loop, an accessible and elevated public space that provides a seamless transition from river to Ring.

Balmori Associates Team includes- Project Manager: Sangmok Kim;  Designers: Alice Feng, Johanna Phelps, Kira Appelhans, Joowon Kim  /  in collaboration with Joel Sanders Architects  /  commissioned work by MAD Architects


Birnbeck Island

Role: Designer  -  Location: Weston-Super Mare, UK

Birnbeck Island has the potential to literally blossom with activity and life – both programmatically, through the creation of a truly hedonistic island of leisure with clubs, concerts, spa and hotel – and naturally, with the development of a series of thematic and distinctive gardens that mirror the natural landscapes of the region. Birnbeck Pier’s history is re-imagined as a 21st Century Victorian Pleasure Garden, where landscapes of Fun stretch over a multi-programmed architectural lattice of entertainment, recreation and event spaces.


image by workac

Formal inspiration comes Birnbeck_Marinafrom sources as diverse as the clumps of mussels found in the Severn Estuary, and the rock formations of East Quantoxhead. The architecture design concept is to create a significant new statement for Weston Super Mare through an architectonic “burst” of diamond-shaped programmatic elements that radiate out from the island into the sea and mud. Each “chip” is deep enough to support abundant plant life as a green roof and create generous space within it.
Programmatically, the existing pier is restored as a event promenade that passes over event spaces, and through a series of landscapes and garden spaces. From arcades to cinemas to boutique hotels the pier is active 28 hours a day.  The spirit of the classic seaside pier is reinterpreted and follows Jekyll and Hyde logic of family friendly days and flashy nightlife, with the added twist of occasional tidal-cycle-based events.Birnbeck_Auditorium

Birnbeck’s legacy of entertainment is restored as a hyper-programmed destination of unexpected fun and excitement; like a working city. A pleasant collection of British landscapes, viewing gardens and recreational landscapes weave through and around the logic of architectural program as it dissipates into the sea; lighted – like markers in the landscape.


image by balmori associates

We also propose a “water-cleaning tower” on the lot on the mainland, that integrates underground parking for the island, an information and ticket booth and all of the required sustainable systems, including plants that will filter the island’s grey water naturally and a co-generation plant producing power from tides and wind. This green tower will serve as the beacon for the new development. The island is a self-sufficient living machine.

The tower also hosts our concept of “roller coaster as mass transportation,” which ascends the tower, and after reaching the top, rockets down across the bridge to deposit visitors in the heart of the new Pleasure Gardens.


image by workac

Balmori Associates team includes- Project Manager: Mark Thomann, Designers: Angela Soong, Alice Feng  /  in collaboration with WorkAC Architects

Urban Voids


Image Credit Ted Ngai

Role: Designer  -  Team Partner: Ted Ngai  -  Location: Philadelphia, PA

Prosperity and Growth: Our proposal is about a community effort to regenerate prosperity and growth. This is a low cost solution to the larger city-wide problems of vacant land. These greenhouses are sustainable through water and energy and can solve issues such as stormwater management and soil degredation.

BOARD01.inddIdentifying Issues of Vacant Land: Cities with large amounts of vacant land are continually searching for ways to redevelop the area into more vibrant zones. The problem that Philadelphia has faced over the years is a lack of funding rather than a lack of vision. Our proposal attempts to create a small growth engine that only requires minimal initial investment.

Stormwater and Sewer: Philadelphia has faced problems with Combined Sewage Overflow. Our proposal accomodates this issue by collecting neighboorhood graywater into basement storage and using it for irrigation thereby reducing the load in sewage treatment plants.

Tax Generation: The biggest problem with vacant land is that it drags the real estate value of neighboorhood down and is non-tax generating. This becomes a big problem for the city and is unattractive to investors. By building greenhouses in these vacant lots, we can produce food for the community and generate energy.BOARD01.indd