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. 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. Her current work illustrates the variety of client types she works with including NYC developers on Phase 2 of the Edge and the West St waterfront in Greenpoint/Williamsburg, Shore Parkway for NYC Parks, and ReBuild by Design and NY Rising public projects. In addition she is working on parks outside of NY in Calgary and Toronto Canada, and Tampa, Florida.
Wilks serves on the Design Advisory Committee of Cornell University and on the Planning Committee of the Municipal Art Society, NYC.
She is a past board member of the National Association of Olmsted Parks, the Maryland Institute Advisory Board, and the Baltimore Museum of Industry, and she is currently a board member at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and a Shareholder of the Cincinnati Art Museum. 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.