Founded by Andrea Leers and Jane Weinzapfel in Boston in 1982, Leers Weinzapfel Associates became the first women-owned firm to win the AIA Firm Award, in 2007. Widely recognized with over 90 national and regional awards, their portfolio includes two Harleston Parker Medal winners: the Blue Hills Youth Development Center in Dorchester, and the MIT Media Lab, shared with Maki and Associates.Both principals have been recognized with the Boston Society of Architects’ Award of Honor.
Leers graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Fine Arts, then led by Louis I. Kahn, following her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College. Weinzapfel came to the Boston area shortly after completing her studies at the University of Arizona. The two met as interns at a large architecture and planning firm, and after several years established their office in Boston with the goal of creating a bold and refined architecture for the public realm. Leers remarked in a 2013 interview: “We like to work on collective spaces, whether it is a symbolic structure like a courthouse that stands for our consensual democracy; a campus center where people come together to relax, study, and debate; or a community recreation building that provides young people with an alternative to the streets.”
Andrea Leers’ practice focuses on urban and campus design, buildings for higher education, and courthouses. Jane Weinzapfel also works on campus academic facilities and campus design, and offers particular expertise in infrastructure and transportation design, leading investigations of new materials and systems for the firm. Both have taught extensively, including locally at the Harvard GSD and MIT, and are active lecturers, jurists, and participants in civic and national design commissions.
See http://www.lwa-architects.com to learn more.
Sources: “Q&A: Andrea Leers and Jane Weinzapfel,” Susan S. Szenasy, Metropolis, August 8, 2013; LWA.