Lily Pads and Landing Pads

Lindy Roy's imagination goes everywhere

Right now there is precisely one first-rank woman architect--the estimable Zaha Hadid--who works on her own, not teamed with her husband or some other guy. But hold on, Zaha--reinforcements are coming. Lindy Roy, 40, is already the most famous woman architect who has just one completed project to her name: the new Manhattan showroom of the Swiss furniture company Vitra, which has become a showcase for Roy too. It's a suavely configured space where display platforms ribbon around corners or morph into mahogany staircases that have embedded steel treads.

But even before the doors opened there last fall, Roy, a...

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