LESIE ARMSTRONG was born in Boston MA and raised in New York City. She graduated with honors in architectural history from Brown University, and earned her masters degree in architecture from Columbia University. During her student years she spent summers working in scenic design for the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy – the most formative experience of her early life. During her apprenticeship, she applied her passion for theatre and performing arts to theatre design. For Richard D. Kaplan, she designed the American Place Theatre, and for her former professor and mentor, Jan Hird Pokorny, she worked on two major performing arts complexes for the State University of New York at Stony Brook and for Lehman College, a campus of the City College of New York..
In 1973 Leslie Armstrong founded her own practice together with Russell and Kirsten Childs concentrating on small scale residential and institutional work, and theatre renovation. In the early 1980's she expanded her practice to include commercial and corporate interiors in association with the late Alan Buchsbaum. In 1994, she accepted an offer to join HLW International LLP as a Senior Designer and Project Manager and closed her firm. At HLW, she directed major planning studies for Condé Nast and Lucent Technologies. She designed and managed multiple commercial interiors projects for such as Newscorp, and GreenPoint Bank. Most challenging was the renovation and historic reconstruction and seismic upgrade of Casa del Mar Hotel, first built in 1926 on the beach in Santa Monica CA, and now a thriving 5 star hotel.
In 2001 she revived Leslie Armstrong Architect, completed the Chantilly House in Los Angeles, resumed teaching interior design at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, and for 5 years divided her time between London and New York once again doing small scale commercial and residential projects including the renovation of two terrace houses in Central London. In 1996 she returned to New York permanently, continuing her teaching and her residential practice. She joined The Rockwell Group for two years as an associate studio leader where she worked on several hotel projects, and served as project manager for the completion of Rockwell’s innovative Imagination Playground in lower Manhattan.Following her time at the Rockwell Group, she served as design consultant for Modern Modular a start up company dedicated to bringing well designed contemporary prefabricated buildings to market, while continuing her residential and retail work. She did the interiors and graphics for The Center Café in Needham Center, MA for her chef daughter, Vanessa Cortesi , and did every aspect of the interior architecture and graphics for Scali Caffé, a high end fast food café on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village, with her colleague, Joel Merker Architect.
In 2012 she reunited with her first business partner, Kirsten Childs AISD, LEED AP to form LARCK Design LLC committed to sustainable and environmentally sound architecture, interior and furniture design.
Leslie Armstrong is the author of The Little House, (Collier Macmillan), and co-author of Space for Dance, An Architectural Design Guide, commissioned jointly by the Dance and Design Arts programs of the National Endowment for the Arts. A profile on Ms. Armstrong and her work is included in Women of Design - Contemporary American Interiors by Beverly Russell, (Rizzoli). She is presently working on a memoir under the aegis of her husband, author, John Bowers. She was elected to the Board of Trustees of Robert College of Istanbul in 1986 . She has studied Turkish, and still travels to Turkey regularly in her present capacity as Trustee Emerita.