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Remembering landscape designer Diana Balmori with a look at her innovative work

Balmori was 84 years old

Landscape and urban designer Diana Balmori died Monday, November 14th, at the age of 84, her studio announced. Renowned for projects like the green roof on Silvercup Studios in Queens, the waterfront development of the Abandoibarra district in Bilbao, Spain, a floating garden in Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal, the Winter Garden in downtown Manhattan’s World Financial Center, and the zero-waste New Government City in South Korea, Balmori placed sustainability and regeneration at the center of her practice. In a video posted on her website, Balmori explained:

We want our work to create a different relationship between humans and the rest of nature. We want to treat rivers differently. We want to treat the earth, and our environment, and other living beings in a different manner than we treated it up to now.

Born in Spain, Balmori studied architecture in Argentina then immigrated to the United States, where she earned a Ph.D. in Urban History at the University of California, Los Angeles. After becoming a partner at Cesar Pelli Associates, she founded Balmori Associates in 1990 in New York City. Balmori also held positions as a visiting professor and critic at Yale’s School of Architecture and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

She also authored several books including Redesigning the American Lawn: A Search for Environmental Harmony in 1993, A Landscape Manifesto in 2010, and Drawing and Reinventing Landscape in 2014. As Balmori wrote in the manifesto: “All things in nature are constantly changing. Landscape artists need to design to allow for change.”