Rodney Leon, AIA, NOMA

Rodney Leon, founder and principal of Rodney Leon Architects PLLC has an architectural background as a designer on a diversity of building types including housing, churches and transportation projects in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Leon is the designer of the African Burial Ground Memorial in New York City which is the only National Monument in the United States dedicated to the contributions of people of African descent. Mr. Leon has focused his professional efforts and developed an expertise in modern “Culturally Contextual” design, Master Planning and Mixed Use Housing Development for faith based and international development organizations. Current projects include the Gospel Assembly Church, the King Emmanuel Baptist Church Senior Housing and Community Center and the historic Convent Avenue Baptist Church expansion. In addition, Mr. Leon has developed and is partnering with manufacturers to design and implement sustainable “Green” housing development models for emerging global economies. The first such project is the 24 acre, mixed use “Belle Rive” Residential Development in Jacmel, Haiti. Mr. Leon is also currently developing a Master Planning solution for Haiti centered upon the concept of Memorialization and Re-forestation entitled “The HiBIscus Project.” In addition, Mr. Leon is involved in a professional collaboration with 3 other architects on efforts to provide transitional housing for displaced families in Haiti through an initiative entitled the "Haiti SOFTHOUSE."

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. He has served as 2nd Year Design Coordinator for Pratt in 2003 and is currently serving as an Adjunct Professor of Advanced Design since 2009.

Rodney Leon


"The Ark of Return"

International Competition for the Permanent Memorial at the United Nations to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

"Acknowledge the Tragedy, Consider the Legacy, Lest We Forget"

Recent News

Haitian Roundtable:
Rodney Leon, Founding Board Member of HRT, Wins UN Design for Slavery Memorial

Haitian Times:

Carib PR Wire:
The Winning “Ark of Return” Permanent Memorial Announced By Secretary-General

UN News Centre:
"Ark of Return": Telling the stories of 15 million slaves in a UN permanent memorial

United Nations Press Release

United Nations Press Release (French)

Competition Website


Haiti Softhouse Fundraiser

On behalf of the HaitiSoftHouse/MOCADA Foundation, we would like to take this opportunity to THANK YOU for taking part in our fundraising event on Thursday, January 12th, 2012 which was the second anniversary of the earthquake which devastated Haiti. We would also like to thank the many local donors for making our silent auction a success. Please take the time to visit their restaurants, stores and online business. Don't forget to mention that you were pleased with their generosity. First, we would like to offer a very special thanks to Paul Aradji, owner of Toscana Restaurant in Greenwich for offering his beautiful restaurant as the site of our event and providing the delicious food and drinks. We would also like to recognize Stew Leonard's of Norwalk, Trader Joes, Mercedes of Greenwich, Saks 5th Ave of Stamford, Lord & Taylor of Stamford, Agabhumi of Stamford, Wirth Salander of Wilton, Swing Shoes of Norwalk, Rings End, The Brownstone of Westport, Scott O'Neill Photography, Benefit Cosmetics of Westport, Regency Limousine Inc of Wilton, Pam Raskin of Gembellishments of Easton, Eugene Russo of Crunch Fitness – Norwalk, and Metric Restaurant/Lounge of Bridgeport. We wish to send many thanks to Alice & Bill Mahoney, John & Joyce Pounds for their very generous auction items. If you were not able to make it and would like to donate please visit us at www.haitisofthouse.com. Finally thanks to artist Samuel Augustin for the collection of Haitian Art he provided for auction. The Haiti Softhouse project is truly a great cause!! It's an ongoing effort to house women, children and the elderly and place six new schools and much needed medical facilities!! We look forward to seeing you at our next event later this spring!!!


GRITtv: Rodney Leon: Soft Houses for Haiti

Architect Rodney Leon talks about his plans for a "soft house" as a transitional home for Haitians displaced by the earthquake. GRITtv with Laura Flanders brings participatory democracy onto your computer screen and into your living room, bridging the gap between audience and advocates.


A Burial Ground and Its Dead Are Given Life

In 1993 the burial ground was placed on the National Register of Historic Places; in 2006 the memorial site was declared a national monument and placed under the oversight of the National Park Service. In 2007 a memorial sculptured by Rodney Leon was unveiled, and now the site's $4.4 million visitor center means to place it all in context.



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