Rodney Leon, founder and principal of Rodney Leon Architect PLLC has an architectural background as a designer on a diversity of building types in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Leon has made the design of public spaces the focus of his professional career. Over the last 10 years his architecture practice has developed an expertise in Memorial Design, Sustainable Urban Development, and Master Planning. He is an advocate of “Culturally Contextual” contemporary design. Current projects include a Memorial Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, an Enslaved African Memorial in Teaneck, New Jersey and a Cultural Museum of African Art in Brooklyn, NY.
Mr. Leon is most widely known for being the designer of the African Burial Ground Memorial in New York City which is the first National Monument in the United States dedicated to the contributions of people of African descent. The monument situated north of City Hall features a “symbolic spiritual space where one can interact and be transformed. The memorial provides visitors the opportunity for acknowledgement, contemplation, meditation, reflection, healing, education and prayer.”
Mr. Leon is also the winner of the international competition by the United Nations to design the Permanent Memorial to the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Mr. Leon’s work was selected from among 310 design proposals from 83 countries in a competition launched by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Mr. Leon’s winning entry entitled “The Ark of Return” was unveiled at the United Nations Plaza by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on March 25th, 2015.
Mr. Leon received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Pratt Institute School of Architecture in 1992 and his Masters of Architecture from Yale University in 1995. He has also been a Visiting Design professor at Pratt Institute School of Architecture from 1998 to 2003 and served as an Adjunct Professor of Advanced Design until 2015. He currently resides in Brooklyn with his wife and 2 daughters.