Thomas Balsley Principal, SWA/Balsley
Thomas Balsley is a renowned designer whose New York City-based practice is best known for its fusion of landscape and urbanism in public parks, waterfronts, and plazas throughout the US and abroad. For over 35 years, Tom’s work has reshaped social and cultural spaces with robust sustainable landscapes that teem with public life. In New York City alone, he has completed more than 100 parks and plazas, including the 2014 ASLA Honor Award-winning Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park and Gantry Plaza Park, across the East River from the UN; Riverside Park South; Chelsea Waterside Park; Peggy Rockefeller Plaza; Capitol Plaza; and the recently completed 51 Astor Place plaza, across from Cooper Union. In an unprecedented gesture, a small park on 57th Street was named Balsley Park in recognition of his design contributions to the city.
Spacemaker Press devoted a monograph to Thomas Balsley Associates’ work: “Thomas Balsley: The Urban Landscape.” In 2015, Mr. Balsley received ASLA’s highest design honor, the Design Medal. ORO Editions has just released his firm’s second monograph, “Thomas Balsley: Uncommon Ground,” with foreword by James Corner and an essay by Ian Volner.
Inspired ByThe juxtaposition and harmony of natural and human habitat; the dynamics of public open space; the genius and acumen of Peter Walker and the tenacity of Paul Friedberg.
EducationBachelor of Science at Syracuse University
Bachelor of Landscape Architecture at SUNY ESF
Affiliations & RegistrationsFellow, American Society of Landscape Architects (Year-Present)
Honorary Member, AIA NY (Year-Present)
Fellow, Institute for Urban Design
Fellow and National Register of Peer Professionals, GSA
Associate Private Member, Urban Land Institute
Member, Waterfront Center
Member, City Parks Alliance
Member, International Downtown Association
Member, Forum for Urban Design
Trustee, Parks Council
Selected AwardsASLA Design Medal
National Honor Award, ASLA, Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park
Honor Award, The Waterfront Center, Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park
American Architecture Award, The Chicago Athenaeum, Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park
National Honor Award, ASLA, Gantry Plaza State Park, Queens, NY