How David Rockwell Built a Design Empire: Photo Gallery

Dean Kaufman
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A Life's Work

David Rockwell believes that all the world is a stage. The 56-year-old architect's love of theater informs every design project ever done by his firm, Rockwell Group, in New York City. Whether the projects are restaurants (Nobu, Emeril's), hotels (the W), the Oscar ceremonies (2009 and 2010), or Broadway sets (Hairspray), the $30 million company approaches each one as if it were an elaborate musical: Rockwell casts the right designers, finds the right collaborators, and thinks not only about the building material but about the way people experience it.