SWA/Balsley is the successor firm to Thomas Balsley Associates, which is based in New York City and has been established as a design leader of the built landscape throughout the U.S. and abroad since 1981. In the new alliance, SWA principals Gerdo Aquino and John Wong join Thomas Balsley and a team of 12 landscape architects, urbanists, and planners who serve the public and private sectors as well as the public/private partnerships that so often sponsor the notable open spaces of our time. Before joining forces, both firms earned international reputations for their innovative, award-winning project portfolios of every type and size, ranging from master plans to small urban spaces; from sweeping urban waterfronts and parks to institutional, corporate, and residential landscapes, plus winning competition entries.
The new firm capitalizes on its combined talent and resources to create healthy, resilient outdoor spaces that enhance the lives of their users. The quality of its work reflects a shared commitment to design excellence, and a responsibility that extends beyond the conventional role of landscape architects as technicians toward a mission of connecting people with place, each other, and the current culture of recreation, urbanism, and sustainability. Whether in the public or private realms, these landscapes transcend the ordinary experience, sparking the imagination with a profusion of form, color, and public art that are symbolic of our culture and aspirations. Following their shared passions, the designers’ collaborative work will often be found in the margins of cities, where post-industrial waterfronts, barren, failed places, and scraps of land left over from the urban grid are dramatically transformed into vibrant spaces that enjoy the public’s sustained embrace to become the building blocks of livable, sustainable, 21st-century cities across the world.