Roy, Lindy

Lindy Roy

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  • Columbia University GSAPP, 1990
  • University of Cape Town, 1985


  • Roy


New York, New York City


Career in Architecture

Not many young architects find a dream job and work on fabulous projects immediately out of school. Lindy Roy worked in about 18 offices in her first two years after graduating, in the 1990 recession, with an M.Arch degree from Columbia University. “It was hell, just absolute hell. It was insane,” says Roy, who recently started her own small New York firm, ROY, and who has received some interesting commissions.

“It’s been more than 10 years since I graduated and only in the last two years do I see the shape of what it is that I’ve been pushing for all along,” Roy says. “It really takes time and luck.”

Roy grew up in South Africa and earned a B.Arch from the University of Cape Town. A fourth-year internship brought her to New York. “I’d wanted to leave South Africa from when I was a teenager. Growing up under Apartheid, I was never able to come to terms with living there,” says Roy. “When I came to New York, I realized this was exactly where I wanted to be.”

Although she was jumping around from office to office, Roy admits she had valuable, invigorating experiences with a few of the first architects she worked for, including Frank Israel in Los Angeles and Peter Eisenman in New York. She was one of the first female project managers in Eisenman’s office. “Working in Eisenman’s office for two years was an extraordinary experience because it was simultaneously hair-raising and fabulous,” Roy says.

Now with her own firm with a couple of full-time employees in an office in Manhattan’s meatpacking district, Roy is developing a portfolio of projects ranging from a single-family house to a health spa to an arts center installation and a nightclub. A constant in all her work is an exploration of possibilities with various materials in new and expanded contexts.

That exploration paid off in Roy’s competition-winning design for this year’s MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architect program. Materials include fabric enclosures and steel supports for hammocks in an installation called subWave, on view through August 31 at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City, Queens, N.Y. With a metaphor of a weather map in plan, the installation—complete with small pools, spray misters, places to lounge, and a wall of fans—is an environment for the art center’s summer festival.

One of her firm’s first large commissions was a spa in the safari country of Botswana (below). As with P.S.1, fabric enclosures were implemented to delineate spaces while maintaining transparency. “The spa project and P.S.1 have similar strategies of introducing elements of luxury, in spartan ways, in the environment—one being wild and one being urban,” Roy says.

Roy is currently completing design work on a house for developer Coco Brown for his new Hamptons development, Sagaponac.

(written by John E. Czarnecki, published in Architectural Record)

Major Buildings and Projects

New School Secondary School, Dodoma, Tanzania

Modernism in Crisis: James Frazer Stirling Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT

Sarah Bartmann Centre of Remembrance Competition, South Africa

Museu Exploratório de Ciéncias Competition, Campinas, Brazil

Natura Brazil Retail Prototype for International Roll-Out

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Newark Liberty International Airport

High Line Hotel New York, NY

Washington Street Mixed-Use Development, Syracuse, NY

Walton Street Apartment Tower, Syracuse, NY

The Kitchen Theater and Gallery, New York

Sequoia Restaurant National Harbor, MD

Cairnhill Circle Towers Singapore

Gallery Met The Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center, New York

Maiden Lane Mixed-Use Tower, New York

Palmer Residence New York

The Garden Party Deitch Projects, New York

Highline 519 New York

Hotel QT an Andre Balazs hotel, New York

Keith Haring Deitch Projects, New York

Wind River Lodge Chugach Mountain Range, Alaska

Poolhouse Sagaponac, NY

Traces of India Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT

L’Oreal Living Lab Los Angeles, CA

L’Oreal Living Lab Farmington, CT

Villa Moda Tower Kuwait City

NOAH Bar New York

Daly Residence New York

Bar at The Bridge Bridgehampton, NY

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK Airport, NY

The Peter Saville Show Design Museum, London

Traces of India Canadian Centre For Architecture, Montreal

Vitra New York

Malle Apartment New York

Mobile Graceland Las Vegas, NV

West Street Tower New York

Malle Barn Hudson, NY

El Valle Eco–Resort and Spa El Valle, Panama

subWave P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY

Cancer Alley Mississippi River, LA

VHouse Houston, TX

Access Storage Solutions London

Issey Miyake New York

Times Capsule for The New York Times Magazine

Okavango Delta Spa Botswana

Press and Awards

Winner: Lawrence J. Israel Prize, Fashion Institute of Technology

Winner: MoMA Young Architects Competition

Winner: 16 Houses, Fifth Ward Community Development Corporation

Finalist: Times Capsule, The New York Times Magazine

Winner: Matthew del Guardio Award for Design Excellence, New York Society of Architects

William J. Kinne Travel Fellowship

Institutional Affiliations

Cornell University

Princeton University

Columbia GSAPP

Syracuse University School of Architecture

Cooper Union

Illinois Institute of Technology

Rice School of Architecture

Tulane School of Architecture