RODNEY LEON

Rodney Leon Architects

SAY IT LOUD - A'18

SAY IT LOUD - A'19

SAY IT LOUD - SXSW

SAY IT LOUD(ER) - SXSW

SAY IT LOUD - United Nations 

SAY IT LOUD - United Nations World Wide

New York Based Designer

 What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement 

My proudest professional accomplishment is the design for the African Burial Ground Memorial in Lower Manhattan. The process involved in competing, designing, presenting managing and constructing the memorial was extremely challenging and complex. 

RODNEY LEON

Bio:

Rodney Leon, founder and principal of Rodney Leon Architects PLLC has been an advocate for a philosophy of Culturally Contextual‚ contemporary design which integrates culture and history into the of making architecture and public space. 

 

Mr. Leon is the designer of the African Burial Ground Memorial in New York City and The Ark of Return‚ United Nations Permanent Memorial to the Victims of Slavery and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. He is a graduate of Pratt Institute and Yale University.

How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that built environment profession was an area of interest for you?

I first learned about architecture through my uncle who is also an architect. As a young boy I was fascinated by his technical drafting tools and was inspired to draw. 

What do you do?

I am currently a principal of my firm in New York City. We work on a diversity of typologies. However, I am most passionate about and am more recognized for the historic cultural spaces I have designed like the African Burial Ground Memorial. 

What excites you in the work you do?

I am excited about the idea of “Cultural Context.” It is a philosophy where history, culture and memory are integrated into the process of making architecture  and how those spaces can communicate ideas and initiate dialogue.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

I first learned about architecture through my uncle who is also an architect. As a young boy I was fascinated by his technical drafting tools and was inspired to draw. 

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

My proudest professional accomplishment is the design for the African Burial Ground Memorial in Lower Manhattan. The process involved in competing, designing, presenting managing and constructing the memorial was extremely challenging and complex.   

Featured Project Name: 

Ark of Return; UN Permanent Memorial to the Victims of Slavery and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

 

Featured Project Location: 

United Nations Plaza, New York, NY

 

Featured Project Completion Date: 

2015

Role in Featured Project: 

Architect and Designer

 

Featured Project Description:

The United Nations Permanent Memorial In Honor of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade Inspired by the words ‚Acknowledge the Tragedy, Consider the Legacy, Lest We Forget.These three distinct phrases individually and collectively were established as the theme  for the design of the, The Ark of Return‚ as a sacred space that is designed to psychologically and spiritually transport visitors to a place where acknowledgment, education, reflection and healing can take place.

Photography Credit:

Rodney Leon Architects PLLC

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