James Rossant

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James Rossant
Born James Stephan Rossant
August 17, 1928
New York City
Died December 15, 2009(2009-12-15) (aged 81)
Nationality American
Occupation Architect
Spouse(s) Colette Rossant
Children Marianne, Juliette, Cecile, Tomas
Buildings Butterfield House, Myriad Botanical Gardens, Ramaz School, Two Charles Center, U.S. Navy Memorial

James Rossant (August 17, 1928 – December 15, 2009) was an American architect, artist, and professor of architecture. A long-time Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, he is best known for his master plan of Reston, Virginia, the Lower Manhattan Plan, and the UN-sponsored master plan for Dodoma, Tanzania. He was a partner of the architectural firm Conklin & Rossant and principal of James Rossant Architects.



In 1957, Rossant joined Mayer & Whittlesey as architect and town planner.[1][2] His first large design project was the Butterfield House apartment house in Greenwich Village (1962).[1][3] For Whittlesey & Conklin, he developed the master plan for Reston, Virginia.[2][3][4] For Conklin & Rossant his work includes the Crystal Bridge of the Myriad Botanical Gardens (Oklahoma City),[5] the Ramaz School (New York),[6] Two Charles Center (Baltimore), and the U.S. Navy Memorial at Market Square (Washington, DC).[2][3][7] For 3R Architects, his work includes Tanzania's new capital at Dodoma under the sponsorship of the United Nations.[8] He served on New York City's Public Design Commission (formerly the Art Commission of the City of New York).[2]


Rossant painted all his life and exhibited with frequency (last in Paris, 2009).[9] His sculpture includes work publicly accessible on Washington Plaza along Lake Anne in Reston. He published Cities in the Sky in 2009, based on one of his longest series of architectural paintings.[1][4] He also illustrated several cookbooks by his wife.[10][11]


Rossant taught architecture at the Pratt Institute (1970–2005) and Urban Design at New York University's School of Public Administration (1975–1983). As lecturer, he visited the National University of Singapore, the American University of Beirut, Harvard University, the University of Virginia, and Columbia University.[1][12]


Early life[edit]

Born in New York City, James Stefan Rossant grew up in the Bronx, where he attended the Bronx High School of Science.[3][4] He studied architecture at Columbia University, the University of Florida, and Harvard University's Graduate School of Design (under Walter Gropius).[1][3] He served in Europe during the Korean War, then worked in Italy with Gino Valle (designer of the Cifra 3 clock).[1] He married Colette Palacci while in Europe; the couple moved back the United States. His brother was the journalist Murray J. Rossant. James Rossant wrote a memoir which he published privately and shared with members of his family.


Rossant died near Condeau in the Orne portion of Le Perche, Lower Normandy, France, of complications arising from long-term, chronic lymphonic leukemia or CLL.

Surviving family[edit]

Rossant is survived by his wife Colette Rossant (food critic, cookbook author, memoirist); children Marianne Rossant (educator), Juliette Rossant (author and journalist), Cecile Rossant (author and architect), and Tomas Rossant (architect); and grandchildren.[1][3] His nephew is John Rossant, executive chairman of PublicisLive. His cousin is British psychotherapist, Susie Orbach.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Biering, Alexander (January 12, 2010). "James Rossant, Noted Architect and Planner, Dies at 81". Architectural Record. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  2. ^ a b c d Krouse, Sarah (December 15, 2009). "James Rossant, master planner behind Reston, Dies". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Grimes, William (December 18, 2009). "James Rossant, Architect and Planner, Dies at 81". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  4. ^ a b c Champenois, Michele (December 26, 2009). "James Rossant, architecte et urbaniste americain". Le Monde. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  5. ^ "Myriad Gardens". JamesRossant.com. Retrieved February 16, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Ramaz School". JamesRossant.com. Retrieved February 16, 2010. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Navy Memorial". JamesRossant.com. Retrieved February 16, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Dodoma". JamesRossant.com. Retrieved February 16, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Artwork". JamesRossant.com. Retrieved February 16, 2010. 
  10. ^ "In Memoriam: James Rossant". Super Chef. Retrieved February 16, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Illustrator". JamesRossant.com. Retrieved February 16, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Lecturer". JamesRossant.com. Retrieved February 16, 2010. 

External links[edit]