60083Born in Buenos Aires Argentina, Leonardo received a master’s degree in architecture from the Univercidad Nacional de Buenos Aires in 1981. In 1982 Leonardo moved to Los Angeles, a year before the end of a military dictatorship that was ruling Argentina at the time. The regime was conducting a “dirty war” that resulted in the disappearance of approximately 50,000 citizens. After working for an engineering firm in Burbank, followed by several jobs to “pay the bills”, Leonardo opened his own practice doing small remodeling jobs as well as graphic design and art projects. In 1990, after obtaining the California Architect’s license, Leonardo started getting larger commissions and focused his practice on custom residential architecture.

Moving to Silver Lake in 1993, Leonard continued his architectural practice as well as focusing on art projects. More architectural commissions and art shows followed. He started focusing on sustainability on his projects as well as on his own residence, and that led to obtaining a LEED accreditation in 2008.

Since 2003, Leonardo and his husband Michael Saint-Onge have been volunteering for local organizations. While Michael serves as president of the Friends of the Silver Lake Library, Leonardo volunteers his time with the Green Committee of the Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce, the local Library, as well as Sustainable Silver Lake,  an organization dedicated to advance local sustainable issues.

Leonardo has served on the Governing Board of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council as an At Large Representative. He has a strong commitment to the environment as well as interest in public transportation, bicycle advocacy and green communal spaces. On the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, he participated in the Urban Design & Preservation Committee and also is part of a group of volunteers that brought an organic fruit & vegetable community garden to Micheltorena Elementary School, the local Title 1 school, (80% enrollment is by kids of low income families). Construction of the garden began in November 2010 with the demolition of the garden’s asphalt surface.

“I’m interested in projects that encourage communal participation. When there is a need and a group of committed volunteers bringing their individual talents, neither money nor bureaucracy will stand in the way of achieving our goals”, he said.  Interested in Leonardo�s work? Visit www.chalupowicz.com 
Would you like to volunteer for the school garden? Send an email to greenschoolgarden@gmail.com