de Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop (DPAW) is a collaborative design studio focusing on public projects with a cultural, civic or not-for-profit basis.
DPAW's working methodology draws inspiration from regional traditions of craft and fabrication, placing an emphasis on the potential of conventional materials and construction methods. Through an immersive process of research & investigation, the studio cultivates an understanding of contextual specificity as a nuanced relationship between place, time and local culture.
In implementing this approach, the Workshop purposefully embraces a design rigor aimed at simplicity and precision, with the underlying premise that innovation necessarily equals economy. DPAW's body of work operates at a range of scales and environments - both urban & rural – while exploring relationships between local & global building traditions.
Since its founding in 2003, the strength of the firm’s work has been recognized through many honors and awards, garnering two American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Honor Awards, nineteen AIA Chapter Awards and fifteen international design awards. DPAW was chosen for the 2010 Design Vanguard by Architectural Record and the 2011 Emerging Voices by the Architectural League of New York, each honor ‘recognizing design firms or individuals with a distinct design voice that has the potential to influence the discipline of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design’.
The firm was awarded a 2012 American Architecture Award by the Chicago Athenaeum and a 2013 AIA National Honor Award for the Mason Lane Farm Operations Facility, a project which has been recognized for its innovative, site-specific use of passive sustainable strategies. Most recently, DPAW received its second American Architecture Award in 2014 and another AIA National Honor Award in 2015 for the Wild Turkey Bourbon Visitor Center, a project that re-invents the regional building vernacular of the tobacco barn within a landscape of existing bourbon distillery structures.
DPAW has been published in numerous design magazines and books nationally and abroad, and our work has been exhibited at many venues including the 2012 Istanbul Design Biennial, the 2011 Beijing International Design Triennial, and WOOD 2010 in Smaland, Sweden. For the 2014-2015 season, our recent work will again be included in the 2014 Istanbul Design Biennial, the Contemporary Space in Athens, a travelling exhibit throughout Europe, and the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial.
Roberto de Leon (FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP) and Ross Primmer (AIA, NCARB) are the co-founders and principals of de Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop.
Roberto holds a Master in Architecture from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley. Ross holds a Master in Architecture from Harvard University and a degree in Architecture and Philosophy from Kent State University.
Roberto and Ross lecture regularly at universities and design symposiums on the studio’s work and methodology, and have served as visiting critics and adjunct professors at a wide range of academic institutions, including Syracuse University School of Architecture, the University of Kentucky College of Design, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte College of Architecture, and the Boston Architectural Center.
In 2012, Roberto served as a panelist for the Mayors’ Institute On City Design (MICD), a national advisory conference for U.S. mayors on current planning issues. Ross has served on the Board of the Louisville Metro Government’s Landmark Commission and participates in many culturally related urban and citywide strategic focus groups and planning committees.