Carol Ross Barney, Collaborators: Ryan Gann and DuSable Park Design Alliance

Carol Ross Barney, FAIA, HASLA, is the 2023 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal recipient and is in the vanguard of civic space design with a career that spans over 50 years. She is dedicated to design of public spaces, from small community facilities, to campus buildings for premier academic and research institutions, to groundbreaking new transit stations and civic and urban places. Her exploration into the power of how the built environment can improve our daily lives has produced distinctive structures that have become cultural icons.

As an architect, urbanist, mentor, and educator, she has relentlessly advocated that excellent design is a right, not a privilege. For nearly two decades, Carol’s studio has been working along Chicago’s Rivers, including design of the Chicago Riverwalk and a vision for improvements for all 150 miles of riverfront.

Other notable projects include design of the new Oklahoma City Federal Building that replaced the Murrah Federal Building following a domestic terrorist attack; the CTA Cermak and Morgan Street Stations; McDonald’s Chicago and Disney World Flagship Restaurants; the Searle Visitor Center at the Lincoln Park Zoo; the JRC Synagogue in Evanston; UMD Civil Engineering Building; Multi-Modal Terminal at O’Hare International Airport; NASA Aerospace Communications Facility, and Chicago’s new DuSable Park.

Carol’s work has been honored with over 200 major design awards including the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, National Design Award, fourteen National American Institute of Architects Honor Awards for Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Urban Planning and Design, over 44 AIA Chicago Awards, and two AIA Committee on the Environment, Top Ten Project Awards for sustainably designed buildings.

Carol is a graduate of the University of Illinois and served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica planning national parks. She has taught an advanced Design Studio at the Illinois Institute of Technology for over thirty years.

Past Works

Chicago Riverwalk. Image by: Kate Joyce Studios