Barbara Wilks

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Dates of Birth and Death

b. June 26, 1951


Hamilton, Ohio


  • Cornell University, 1974
  • University of Pennsylvania, 1993


  • Cho, Wilks, Benn Architects Inc.
  • W Architecture and Landscape Architecture LLC

Professional organizations

  • AIA
  • ASLA
  • Design Trust for Public Space
  • Van Alen

Major projects

  • Tide Point, Baltimore 2001
  • DOMA Gallery 2005
  • West Harlem Piers Park, NYC 2007
  • The Edge, Brooklyn NY 2010
  • St Patrick's Island, Calgary 2014


Baltimore, Calgary, Durham, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, landscape, parks, public, waterfront


Barbara Wilks, FAIA, FASLA, principal and founder of W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, is a leader in the field of design.  As an architect and a landscape architect, Barbara uses her leadership skills to realign nature and the city.

After graduating from Cornell University, Barbara worked for the City of Baltimore during its well known renaissance in the mid 1970’s.  In 1974, she founded Cho/Wilks and won many awards for her work where she practiced for twenty years. After receiving a Masters of Landscape Architecture from University of Pennsylvania in 1993, she founded her new interdisciplinary firm in NYC in 1999.

The quality of her work has been internationally acknowledged with numerous design awards, repeat clients, and publications. She was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 1999 and to the College of Fellows of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2010.  Her projects range from urban public spaces, to infrastructure, to architecture, with her goal being to use design to create access and a means of participation—a public route to discovery and engagement. In addition to thus opening her projects for participation, during the design process Barbara continues the spirit of inclusion to the surrounding communities, government agencies and professional collaborators. Projects in NYC include award winning West Harlem Piers Park and The Edge in Williamsburg as well as work in Redhook for NY Rising and Rebuild by Design.  Other major projects include DOMA Gallery and the USS COnstellation Visitor Center in Baltimore, St Patricks Island, Riverwalk 2, and Center Square in Calgary.

Wilks serves on the Planning Committee of the Municipal Art Society, NYC and is currently a board member at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and a Shareholder of the Cincinnati Art Museum.  She is a past board member of the National Association of Olmsted Parks, the Maryland Institute Advisory Board, and the Baltimore Museum of Industry, as well as the Design Advisory Committee of Cornell University. She has served several times on the Mayor’s Institute for City Design and has been on many juries for various institutions including the ULI, AIA, and ASLA.  She is a Design Trust Fellow and contributed to “Five Borough Farm 2”, and her monograph, “Structuring Confluence”, will be released in spring 2014. Barbara is an adjunct professor at City College in New York City.

Honors and Awards


  • 2014 NYAIA Merit Award for Urban Design – St Patrick’s Island
  • 2012 – ASLA New York Honor Award – The Edge Williamsburg
  • 2010 Municipal Arts Society, NYC – MASterworks Neighborhood Catalyst, West Harlem Piers Park
  • 2010 Mind in the Gutter—Marine Streets: Urban Storm water at the water’s edge
  • 2009 AIA New York, Merit Award, Sheik Rashied Bin Saeed Crossing, Project Landscape Architect
  • 2009 The Waterfront Center, Honor Award, West Harlem Piers Park
  • 2008 Architectural Review Award at Cityscape Dubai Future Projects, Honorable Mention, Mixed Use Waterfront Development Plan UAE
  • 2006 AIA New York, Citation, West Harlem Piers Master Plan
  • 2005 AIA National, Honor Award for Regional & Urban Design, West Harlem Master Plan and Waterfront Park
  • 2004 ASLA National, Merit Planning & Analysis Award, West Harlem Master Plan & Waterfront Park
  • 2004 AIA National, Honor Award, DOMA Gallery
  • 2004 Associated Builders and Contractors, Excellence in Construction Award, DOMA Gallery
  • 2003 AIA New York, Design Excellence Award, DoMa Gallery
  • 2003 ASLA National, Design Merit Award, Tide Point
  • 2002 Maryland Design Awards, Citation Award, Tide Point
  • 2002 Cultural Olympiad, “The Physical Fitness of Cities”, Tide Point Office Campus and Waterfront Park, Salt Lake City
  • 2001 Maryland Smart Growth Award, Tide Point Office Campus & Waterfront Park
  • 2001 Baltimore Heritage Preservation Society Award (Industrial Landscape), Tide Point Office Campus & Waterfront Park
  • 2001 AIA Baltimore, Design Merit Award, Eubie Blake National Jazz Museum
  • 2000 AIA Baltimore, Award for Design Excellence, Flemming Community Center
  • 1999 AIA Baltimore, Award for Design Excellence, Baltimore City Garage
  • 1998 AIA Maryland, Honor Award, Bryn Mawr Science Building
  • 1997 AIA Baltimore, Grand Design Award, Bryn Mawr Science Building
  • 1996 AIA Baltimore, Award for Design Excellence – Unbuilt, Eubie Blake National Jazz Museum & Cultural Center
  • 1993 AIA Baltimore, Award for Design Excellence, Camden Station
  • 1992 AIA Baltimore, Award for Excellence, Central Corridor Light Rail
  • 1992 AIA Baltimore, Grand Award for Design, Bryn Mawr School, Centennial Hall Additions
  • 1990 AIA Baltimore, Award for Design Excellence, Cho, Wilks & Benn Offices
  • 1989 AIA Baltimore, Award for Design Excellence, Canton Cove Condominiums
  • 1989 Baltimore Magazine, Residential Design Award, Canton Cove Condominiums
  • 1987 AIA Baltimore, Award for Design Excellence, Goucher College, Elizabeth Connolly Todd Dance Studio
  • 1986 National Association of Home Builders, Merit Award, Charles Plaza Renaissance ’86
  • 1984 Baltimore Magazine, Award for Distinctive Residential Architecture, Ridgely’s Delight Housing
  • 1984 Baltimore Magazine, Award for Distinctive Residential Architecture, Orphan Alley
  • 1983 AIA Baltimore, Award in Design Excellence, Orphan Alley
  • 1982 AIA Baltimore, Award in Design Excellence, Brown’s Arcade