Whatever the project, Roberta Washington Architects work with clients to provide them with solutions that fit their needs and respond to their aspirations.

Roberta Washington Architects, PC (RWA) was established in 1983 in the heart of Harlem as one of the few African-American, woman-owned architectural firms in the country. The firm’s primary work includes health and educational facilities and affordable housing projects. Projects include the renovation of dozens of abandoned apartment buildings in Harlem for low and middle-income tenants in addition to new moderate income housing for home ownership, a specialty medical center, a MTA subway station, public school projects (including New Haven’s first LEED Gold Certified school), museums and historic preservation projects.

An USGBC LEED-accredited professional since 2003, we have made the design of environmentally sustainable structures an integral aspect of the design of all projects. Many of our projects are rehabilitation and preservation projects involving our research and investigation of materials and techniques to determine the best design and construction approach. RWA strategizes to explore every opportunity to energize all participants toward creative and responsible solutions working sometimes within confining budgets.


RWA believes that architecture is not just a science or art form but also an active partner in defining:

  • How we choose to live – by creating viable communities through the thoughtful design of supportive mixed-use housing that responds to the needs of users as well as the neighborhood
  • How we choose to learn – by creating purposeful spaces that support students and educators by assuring safe surroundings that invite exploration of the environment through careful planning and material selection
  • How we choose to heal – by creating supportive surroundings that integrate conflicting needs of technology, medical personnel, families and patient comfort
  • How we choose to view our past and future – by carefully restoring existing buildings to their original dignity and by protecting our future limited resources utilizing Green Building strategies


Roberta Washington Architects, PC is a full service architectural firm providing the following services depending upon the requirements of the project:

Site Evaluation
Feasibility Studies
Planning Studies
Zoning Review
Code Review
Conceptual Design
ADA and Accessibility Documentation

Bidding Phase Support
Construction Administration
Renovation Design
Interior Design
Space Planning
Finish and Material Selection
Sustainability Design and LEED Certification
Construction Document Preparation
Historic Preservation Design


Roberta Washington, FAIA

Roberta Washington, FAIA


Roberta Washington, FAIA, has been principal of Roberta Washington Architects, PC since 1983. Prior to starting her own firm, Ms. Washington worked as a health facility planner/designer for various New York City architectural firms and later ran a design studio for Maputo Province in Mozambique where she designed healthcare, educational and cultural projects. In her own firm, Roberta Washington has designed and acted as project director for dozens of new and renovated housing projects, schools and health facilities.

Ms. Washington is a past president of the National Organization of Minority Architects and a past chairperson of the New York State Board of Architecture. For six years she was also the Housing Committee chairperson and co-chair of the Land-Use Committee for Central Harlem’s Community Planning Board. Currently she serves on the board of the Center for Architecture Foundation where she was 2009 president. In 2006 she was elevated to the American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows.

Master of Science in Architecture  |  Columbia University New York, NY

Bachelor of Architecture   |  Howard University Washington, DC

LEED Accredited Professional

John K. Samuels III, AIA

John K. Samuels III, AIA


John K. Samuels III, AIA has prior experience which includes eleven years as designer and project manager for Davis Brody & Associates and Bond Ryder Associates. He served as designer for Towers on the Park, a six-hundred unit high-rise condominium complex and as project manager for the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, where he coordinated consultants and architects on three continents. Mr. Samuels was project manager for master planning of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, AL.

At the firm of Roberta Washington Architects, Mr. Samuels was project manager for the campus master plan for Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, eight school projects in Mount Vernon, NY and three schools in New Haven, CT. He led the project for the renovation of eight Queens Borough Libraries for ADA accessibility and managed the construction administration phase for a new 128-unit ‘green’ residential condominium.

He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and the National Organization of Minority Architects.

Master of Science in Architecture  |  Columbia University New York, NY

Bachelor of Arts in Architecture  |  Yale University New Haven, CT