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Barbara Wilks

Barbara Wilks, 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. Interested in waterfronts since her thesis project on Elmira, NY after the Hurricane Agnes flood of 1972, she continued this interest in Baltimore, integrating water and land on the harbor as well as along the Chesapeake Bay. In 1974, she founded Cho/Wilks Architects and won many awards for her work including many award winning post-industrial waterfronts like Tin Deco and Canton Cove. After receiving a Masters of Landscape Architecture from University of Pennsylvania in 1993, she founded her new interdisciplinary firm in NYC in 1999, to realign urban communities with nature.


Barbara is one of the few professionals elected to both 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, to parks, with her goal being to use design to create access and a means of participation—a public route to discovery, engagement and stewardship. In addition to 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 include award winning projects in seven countries and many cities including NYC, Calgary, AB, Dubai, UAE, St Petersburg FL, Baltimore MD, and others.