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David Rockwell

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David Rockwell

Marcia Kirkley


Architectural Association School of Architecture, Syracuse University

ADG Excellence In Production Design for Awards, Music, or Game Shows

Tony Award for Best Scenic Design of a Play

Dolby Theatre, Playstation Theater, MetLife Stadium, 50 Biscayne, Starhill Gallery

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David rockwell architect profile

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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Early life and education

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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.

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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.


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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.

Select design projects

  • Adour Alain Ducasse at The St. Regis
  • Bar Americain
  • Chefs Club by Food & Wine, New York
  • Gordon Ramsay’s Maze (London)
  • Maialino, New York
  • Nobu restaurants worldwide, including New York, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Doha, Melbourne and Dubai
  • Aloft hotels (Starwood Hotels & Resorts)
  • Andaz Maui at Wailea, Hawaii
  • Canyon Ranch Miami Beach
  • Chambers Hotel
  • The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
  • Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
  • W Hotels New York, Union Square, Vieques, Paris and Singapore
  • Hall of Fragments, the entrance installation to the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale
  • The Walt Disney Family Museum, San Francisco
  • The Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta
  • Elinor Bunin-Munroe Film Center, Lincoln Center
  • Culture Shed in collaboration with Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Hudson Yards, New York
  • TED Theater, Vancouver
  • Dolby Theatre, home of the Academy Awards ceremony (Los Angeles)
  • The Marketplace at the JetBlue terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • NeueHouse, New York and Los Angeles
  • Shinola, New York
  • Imagination Playground
  • David Rockwell for Maya Romanoff, wall covering collection
  • Set design

  • Hairspray
  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • All Shook Up
  • Legally Blonde
  • Team America: World Police (2004, film)
  • The 81st Annual Academy Awards (2009)
  • The 82nd Annual Academy Awards (2010)
  • Catch Me If You Can
  • Harvey
  • Kinky Boots
  • Lucky Guy
  • You Can't Take It with You
  • Side Show
  • On The Twentieth Century
  • Omnia Nightclub (Las Vegas and San Diego)
  • Books

  • Pleasure: The Architecture and Design of Rockwell Group, Universe, a division of Rizzoli Books, 2002.
  • David Rockwell with Bruce Mau, Spectacle, Phaidon Press, 2006. Examines the history and public fascination with larger-than-life man-made events.
  • What If...?: The Architecture and Design of David Rockwell, Metropolis Books, 2014.
  • References

    David Rockwell Wikipedia

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