Susan T. Rodriguez FAIA began an independent practice in 2016, combining more than thirty years of design leadership creating buildings and spaces for cultural, educational and civic institutions with her passionate belief in the power of architecture to effect change and improve the quality of life for all. Central to her new practice is an engagement in work that addresses the pressing issues in contemporary society through design that promotes the long-term sustainability and wellbeing of communities and institutions. “I’ve always been amazed by how we as architects compete for such a small body of work, while the rest of the world is left un-designed. I’m really curious about how that can change.”
Designing at the intersection of architecture and the public realm, she creates buildings and spaces that distill the essence of cultures and communities. Her award-winning body of work is recognized internationally for design excellence, contributing to the vitality of cities, landscapes and the communities and the institutions they serve. In 2016 she was honored by Architectural Record with the Women in Architecture Design Leader Award for the breadth and impact of her built work over the last three decades. She is a founding partner and design principal at Ennead Architects (formerly Polshek Partnership).
Ms. Rodriguez’s work ranges from small-scale interventions in historic precincts to new, large-scale monumental buildings. To each project, she brings an attitude about design that connects people to place and to each other through an architecture of interpretation inspired by the intersection of history, site and program and the integration of exterior and interior space. Whether rural landscape, campus setting or a dense urban context, she seeks to create an architecture that is fused with its surroundings and driven by the logic of the program. Her research-based process is driven by a curiosity to explore and synthesize the unique array of issues and systems that surround a project, resulting in formally resonant and meticulously detailed buildings. Weaving together context, structure, materials, textures, space, light and color she creates architecturally powerful identities that reveal the vitality of the spaces within, while forging lasting connections to place. Underscoring the significance of the environment and architecture’s role in its preservation, her designs are models for the application of sustainable design strategies.
As an extension of her professional work, Ms. Rodriguez actively promotes the importance of design in the public realm. She has been a longtime board member of the Architectural League of New York and one of the founding board members of Art Works Projects: Art + Design for Human Rights. She lectures frequently on her work and has taught numerous design studios at Cornell, Columbia, and City College. Ms. Rodriguez received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, where she served on the Dean’s Advisory Council and is a former trustee of the University and vice chair of the Buildings and Properties Committee. She received a Masters degree in Architecture from Columbia University. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
Working with a core team in New York City, her studio at 555 West 25th Street is a collaborative light-filled space in the heart of the Chelsea Gallery district a block from the High Line.
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