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More than that, David Rockwell won the Presidential Design Award for his extraordinary work renovating New York’s Grand Central Station, and his firm, the Rockwell Group, is designing the interior for the JetBlue terminal at New York’s JFK Airport. Rockwell has published several books on his architectural and design process, including Pleasure and Spectacle — two qualities that abound in his work.
But Rockwell is no mere drama junkie. His designs for a temporary viewing platform at Ground Zero, constructed in the days after 9/11, demonstrate his ability to tune in to the requirements of each space. Meanwhile, a recent project takes the playfulness inherent in his work to its logical conclusion: the Imagination Playground is a free-play space for kids. The first playground is being built at Burling Slip in Manhattan, and plans are afoot to bring the concept nationwide in partnership with KaBOOM! The Burling Slip Imagination Playground is scheduled to open July of 2010.
Biography: the man before the myth
David Rockwell (born 1956) is an American architect and designer. He is the founder and President of Rockwell Group, a 250-person award winning, cross-disciplinary architecture and design practice based in New York City with satellite offices in Madrid and Shanghai.
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Born in Chicago, Illinois, Rockwell also spent part of his childhood in Deal, New Jersey and Guadalajara, Mexico. He was a child of the theater as his mother worked as a vaudeville dancer and choreographer. She sometimes cast him in community repertory productions.
Rockwell brought his passion for theater and an eye for the color and spectacle of Mexico to his architecture training at Syracuse University, where he received his Bachelor of Architecture. He also studied at the Architectural Association in London. These formative influences continue to shape his practice.
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David founded Rockwell Group in 1984. Over the past 30 years, Rockwell Group has carved out a unique role encompassing multiple ideas, design styles, clients and project types. The firm creates a unique narrative for each project, ranging from restaurants, hotels, airport terminals, and hospitals, to festivals, museum exhibitions, and Broadway sets.
Background & Realizations: the projects
Rockwell‘s group has many different projects and partnership to be pround of. With global offices to support a far-reaching vision, Rockwell Group is an interdisciplinary firm that emphasizes innovation and thought leadership in every project. They create extraordinary experiences and built environments the world over. Here you can see some of their recent projects:
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
Modern, approachable luxury redefines this historic hotel. Originally built in 1893, the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac overlooks the St. Lawrence River and Old Quebec. Rockwell Group’s renovations of the hotel’s public spaces called for the restoration of historic details and preservation of signature pieces.
Inspired by European concert halls, the Hakkasan Group’s OMNIA nightclub, located in the former PURE Nightclub space at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, merges opulent design embedded with state-of-the-art technology to create an immersive, sensory, ever-changing experience.
Located in the landmark Puck Building in Lower Manhattan, Chefs Club by Food & Wine is a restaurant that showcases the work of a rotating roster of international star chefs in a theatrical setting directed by master chef Didier Elena.
Culture Shed is an innovative, accessible home for the creative industries in the Hudson Yards district. Sited along the High Line at 30th Street, this unique facility designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group, will welcome a range of activities by local and international organizations spanning the worlds of visual art, design, media and performance.
The Creator’s Choice
David’s numerous honors include the 2008 National Design Award by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum for outstanding achievement in Interior Design; the 2009 Pratt Legends Award; the Presidential Design Award for his renovation of the Grand Central Terminal; induction into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America and Interior Design magazine’s Hall of Fame; inclusion in Architectural Digest’s AD 100; three Tony Award nominations for Best Scenic Design; and four Drama Desk Award nominations for Outstanding Scenic Design of a Musical. Rockwell Group was twice named by Fast Company as one of the most innovative design practices in their annual World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies issue.
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