John L. Wong, FASLA, FAAR, PLA

Managing Principal

“Collaboration is key. Stay open to suggestions and design ideas from all the project’s players — clients, architects, artists, engineers — and let the best idea move forward.”

Since joining SWA in 1976, John has directed an array of projects, from the design and crafting of small gardens to the large-scale planning and design of neighborhoods, towns, and new communities. He has extensive experience in North America, the Middle East, and Asia—particularly in Japan, Korea, and China. Over the past two decades, John has led more than 150 campus improvement projects at Stanford University, including the award-winning DAPER Master Plan and the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts. He and his teams have designed the groundscapes for 12 of the 100 tallest buildings in the world.

John also became a Principal at SWA/Balsley in December 2016.


Great design, in whatever form: the French gardens of LeNotre; 15th- and 16th-century Italian gardens; 20th-century Minimalist artists (Richard Long, Sol Lewitt, Donald Judd); Japanese Zen gardens.


Master of Landscape Architecture in Urban Design, Harvard University Graduate School of Design (1978)

Bachelor of Landscape Architecture with Honors, UC Berkeley (1974)

Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture, American Academy in Rome (1981)


Collaboration is key. Stay open to suggestions and design ideas from all the project’s players—clients, architects, artists, engineers—and let the best idea move forward.


Fellow, American Society of Landscape Architects

Fellow, Institute of Urban Design

Fellow, American Academy in Rome

Member, Urban Land Institute

Member, CTBUH


Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), Best Tall Building Worldwide: Shanghai Tower (2016); Cayan Tower (2014); Burj Khalifa (2010 – Global Icon Award)

Center for Active Design (CAD), Award of Excellence (2015); ULI Urban Open Space Finalist (2014); WAN, Best Urban Design (2013): Guthrie Green

ASLA NorCal Chapter, Merit Award, UC Davis West Village (2013); ULI Global Award for Excellence (2013); SCUP Excellence in Landscape Architecture – Open Space Planning and Design, Honor Award (2015): UC Davis West Village