What We Believe


A visitor to a place is a participant in that place. Recognizing this, we believe creating landscapes and architecture that offer unexpected opportunities for access and engagement can elevate the human experience, triggering reflection, awareness, and action on the part of visitors. Well-designed places can result in more sustainable relationships between ourselves, our communities, and the earth.

What We Do


At W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, we create meaningful places where city and nature come together and form new relationships. These new relationships work at multiple scales, connecting communities to one another, people to place, and places to natural systems. We have particular expertise working with urban waterfront sites, transforming neglected, marginal areas into vital places for people to gather and experience a diversity of life.

Our work is evolutionary: our designs are rooted in context, -yet the effect can be catalytic. Our designs unlock potential for positive change and healthier, resilient communities. We grow places by examining the forces that exist at a site, creating new relationships that encompass physical, social, temporal, and political realms.

Who We Are


Barbara Wilks founded W Architecture and Landscape Architecture in 1999. With an international team of urban designers, architects, and landscape architects, we are able to bring an unusual breadth of capabilities to every job. With this professional diversity, we have an innately holistic approach to work, generating solutions that simultaneously solve challenges of scale, scope, and budget. Based in New York City, our award-winning projects are found throughout the world.

Barbara Wilks
Founding Principal, Architect / Landscape Architect


Barbara Wilks, FAIA, FASLA, founded W Architecture and Landscape Architecture in 1999 to create a design-oriented, multidisciplinary practice focused on urban issues. As a leader in design and interdisciplinary thinking, with over 40 years of experience in urban design, public, and institutional projects, she practices as both an architect and landscape architect. “Seen as a whole, we can no longer distinguish ‘Nature’ as a place apart or separate from human endeavor and habitation. We are immersed in and shaped by it. Embracing this is essential to how we live and design.”

Laquita Birch
Office and Financial Manager


With a degree in accounting and finance from New York University, it’s no surprise that Laquita enjoys solving Sudoku puzzles—“or anything with numbers.” Laquita joined W Architecture in 2000 as a bookkeeper and has grown with the office, now managing health, administration and financial matters.

Kate Cella
Associate, Architect


“I feel that architecture and landscape architecture should help communities to discover more about the environment surrounding them, …through light, reflections, new points of connection.” This philosophy informs Kate’s work as she oversees complex urban landscape and architectural projects. She holds Master of Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, along with a Certificate of Ecological Design.

Julia Howe
Landscape Architect


Julia manages complex urban parks and landscape projects from concept through completion. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, with a Master in Landscape Architecture, her pastimes inform her work: “I like the process of sketching and making models with my hands; it gives me a better understanding of the nuances of a space. During my time off, I love to explore neglected or forgotten areas of Brooklyn and Queens. Both these pursuits enrich my work in design: drawing helps unleash new ideas, and exploring the urban wilds allows me to daydream about what is possible.”

Misako Murata
Landscape Architect


Dynamic, open-ended spaces are key to Misako’s concept of urban landscape design. “I love seeing how people use their cities, how they adapt and reimagine public spaces. Because cities are so dense, spatial flexibility is very important.” She has Master degrees in Architecture and Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University.

Tyler Silvestro
Designer


Tyler holds a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the City College of New York. Experiencing the environment from different angles informs his work as a designer. “I enjoy running, swimming, biking, walking aimlessly, and riding great distances on trains. These activities allow me to understand the practice of landscape architecture from a variety of perspectives, including scale, tempo, environment, and dialogue, and enable me to create dynamic and multi-layered spaces.”

Douglas Brooks
Designer


Doug considers landscape architectural practice to exist from the tactile ‘feel’ of a material to the ecological scale of a region and believes the discipline is in the unique position to profoundly shape how society lives in the built environment - ‘as designers working at such a variety of scales - design that transforms cities is equally legible from the region to the scale of a detail.’ Doug holds and Masters of Landscape Architecture from the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center – Virginia Tech and a Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning from Northern Arizona University.

Chieh Huang
Designer


“Travel—including taking an occasional walk with no destination—are a couple of my favorite activities. As long as I find a way back, getting lost is always fun. It allows my thoughts to take me where they want to go. Sort of like the process of designing.” Holding a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Chieh is fascinated by the design synthesis between landscape and urbanism.

Sam Sikanas
Designer


Sam considers landscape architecture to be a force for community advancement, a purpose that he works to incorporate into his designs. “It should strive to make a positive impact on the built and social environments, honoring history and context.” He received a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Michigan.

Eve Ding
Designer


With a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Architecture from the South China University of Technology, Eve brings the benefits of a multicultural perspective to her designs. “Photographing patterns—in nature and in architecture—on walks throughout the city is one way I strengthen my artist’s eye.”

Awards

W Architecture and Landscape Architecture has been recognized with many regional and national awards, including a 2005 American Institute of Architects National Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design for West Harlem Master Plan and Waterfront Park, 2004 American Society of Landscape Architects National Analysis and Planning Merit Award for West Harlem Master Plan and Waterfront Park, 2003 ASLA National Design Merit Award for the Tide Point Promenade in Baltimore, and a 2004 American Institute of Architects National Honor Award for the DOMA Gallery in Maryland. In addition, Barbara Wilks was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows in 1999 and to the ASLA College of Fellows in 2010 for excellence in design.

Selected Awards List

2016

Excellence on the Waterfront

Waterfront Center

St Patrick's Island

 

Honorable Mention

Fast Company Design Awards

St Patrick's Island

 

Mayor’s Award

Urban Design Catalyst Calgary

St Patrick’s Island

 

National Urban Design Award

Royal Architecture Institute of Canada

St Patrick’s Island

 

Urban Design Honor Award

AIA NY Chapter

Plaza 33

 

Honor Award

ASLA NY Chapter

Plaza 33

 

2015

Regional Merit Award

Canadian Society of

Landscape Architects

St. Patrick’s Island

 

President's Award of Excellence

ASLA Denver Chapter

St. Patrick’s Island

 

2014

AIA NY Chapter

Merit Award, Urban Design

St. Patrick’s Island

 

2012

AIA NY Chapter

Merit Award

Cornell University,

Human Ecology Building

 

ASLA NY Chapter

Merit Award

The Edge Park

“Making City” Exhibit at Rotterdam Biennale, NYC Department of City Planning

The Edge Park

 

2011

Glipses 2040: NY/Amsterdam Exhibit

NYC Center for Architecture

 

St Patricks Island Competition

First Place (w/ Civitas)

 

2010

MASterworks Awards

Neighborhood Catalyst

West Harlem Piers Park

 

2009

Honor Award

ASLA NY Chapter

West Harlem Piers Park

 

Honor Award

The Waterfront Center

West Harlem Piers Park

 

American Architecture Awards

Sheik Rashied Bin Saeed Crossing

In partnership with FXFowle International, LLC

Role: Landscape Architecture

 

Merit Award

AIA New York Chapter 

Sheik Rashied Bin Saeed Crossing

Dubai Roads and Transport Authority

In partnership with FXFowle International, LLC

Role: Landscape Architecture

 

2008

Honorable Mention

Architectural Review Award  Cityscape Dubai Future Projects

Mixed Use Waterfront Development Plan 

UAE Winner 

 

First Place

The Sixth Crossing, Dubai Creek Bridge Design Competition

Dubai Roads and Trans. Authority

In partnership with FXFowle

Role: Landscape Architecture

2007

Honorable Mention

Envisioning Gateway Competition

Van Alan Institute, NPCA, Columbia U., and Tiffany and Co. 

 

2006

Citation

American Institute of Architects

New York State

West Harlem Piers Master Plan

 

Second Prize - competition

Seoul Performing Arts Center

 

2005

National Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design

American Institute of Architects

West Harlem Master Plan and Waterfront Park

 

2004

Merit Award

National Analysis and Planning  American Society of Landscape Architects 

West Harlem Master Plan and Waterfront Park

 

National Honor Award

American Institute of Architects

DOMA Gallery

Excellence in Construction Award

Associated Builders and Contractors

DOMA Gallery

2003

National Design Merit Award

American Society of Landscape Architects  

Tide Point

 

Design Excellence Award

AIA New York Chapter 

DoMa Gallery

Honorable Mention

"Designing the High Line"

Competition

Friends of the High Line

 

2002

Design Excellence Award

Tide Point Waterfront

AIA Maryland

 

Juried Exhibition

The Physical Fitness of Cities

Tide Point Waterfront Park

Winter Olympics, Salt Lake City

 

2001

Maryland Smart Growth Award

Tide Point Office Waterfront Park

 

Baltimore Heritage Preservation Society Award 

Tide Point Office Campus & Waterfront Park 

 

Award for Design Merit Award

Eubie Blake National Jazz Museum

AIA Baltimore

 

2000

Award for Design Excellence 

AIA Baltimore

Flemming Community Center

 

1999

Award for Design Excellence  AIA Baltimore

Baltimore City Garage

 

1998

Honor Award 

AIA Maryland

Bryn Mawr Science Building

 

1997

Grand Design Award 

AIA Baltimore

Bryn Mawr Science Building 

 

1996

Award for Design Excellence 

AIA Baltimore

Eubie Blake National Jazz Museum & Cultural Center

 

1993

Award for Design Excellence

AIA Baltimore

Camden Station

 

1992

Award for Excellence

AIA Baltimore

Central Corridor Light Rail

 

Grand Award for Design

AIA Baltimore

Bryn Mawr School

 

1990

Award for Design Excellence

AIA Baltimore

Cho, Wilks & Benn Offices

 

1987

Award for Design Excellence

AIA Baltimore

Goucher College, Elizabeth Connolly Todd Dance Studio

 

 

1986

Third Prize 

Coldspring Newtown National Competition

City of Baltimore National Association of Home Builders

 

Merit Award 

Charles Plaza Renaissance '86

 

1984

Award Distinctive Residential Architecture, Baltimore Magazine

Ridgely's Delight Housing

 

Award for Distinctive Residential Architecture, Baltimore Magazine

Orphan Alley

 

1983

Award in Design Excellence

AIA Baltimore

Orphan Alley

 

1982

Award in Design Excellence

AIA Baltimore

Brown's Arcade

 

1980

First Place (competition)

Inner Harbor Piers 5 and 6 AIA Baltimore

 

Publications

2014

Structuring Confluence: The Work of W Architecture and Landscape Architecture

2012

Lasky, Julie. “The Edge is the Center” Landscape Architecture Magazine, June, 2012.

Silvestro, Tyler. “Troy, Troy Again! Architects revamping an Aging Waterfront”AN Blog, April 9, 2012.

Mcmurray, Jenna. “St. Patrick’s Island Extreme Makeover Edition” Calgary Herald, 3, April 26, 2012.

Pinet, Sophie. “Un Musee Suspendu” French Architectual Digest, 48-49, April 2012.

2009

“West Side Pier Helps Bridge Greenway Gap” NY1. May 20, 2009.

“Expanding the Long and Linear Open Space” Landscape Architect China, May 20, 2009: 08-17.

Son, Seok Beom. “West Harlem Piers Park” ELA: Environment, & Landscape Architecture of Korea 253, May 2009: 58-67.

Son, Seok Boem. “Tide Point” ELA: Environment & Landscape Architecture of Korea 252, April 2009: 58-67.

2007

Dal Verne, Enzo. “La Grande Mela Verde.” LUNA magazine. October 2007.

Pollak, Linda. "The Landscape for Urban Reclamation." Lotus 128, Summer 2007: 36-45

2005

Scheineson, Andrew. “Officials Start Pier Renewal: Bloomberg Announces $18.7 Construction Plan for New Harlem Pier.” Daily Columbia Spectator. 1 Nov 2005: 1,4.

Schwartz, Neal J.Z., ed. “Constellations of Hope.” Emergent Memory: The National AIDS Memorial Competition. 2005: 62-63.

Jones, Will. “Radical Approaches to Contemporary Housing: New Residential Architecture: DoMa Gallery.” New Residential Architecture. 2005: 164-167.

“American Institute of Architects: 2005 Honor Awards: 10. West Harlem Waterfront Park.” Architectural Record. May 2005: 151.

“West Harlem Master Plan and Waterfront Park” Landscape Design. 2005: 14

“Barn Raising: Two art lovers turn a dilapidated barn at their weekend farm near Baltimore into a guesthouse that uniquely connects the old with the new.” House Beautiful. May 2005: 84-90.

Boschi, Antonello. “Doma Gallery 2003.” Case in vetro. Milano: Federico Motta Editore. 2005:336-45.

2004

Buiso, Gary. “Red Hook: Waterfront Hamlet?: New Vision For Downtown Community.” Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill Courier. Vol. XXVLI No.15, 12 April 2004: 1, 8.

2003

Hoffberger, Catherine. “Shining Through: Even with two of its original walls gone, this structure remains a barn at heart.” Style: Smart Living in Baltimore. Dec 2003:174-181.

Freeman, Allen. “To the Point.” Landscape Architecture. Nov 2003: 2-11.

Amelar, Sarah. “DoMa Gallery Baltimore County, Maryland.” Architectural Record. July 2003.

“Designing the High Line: Ideas for Reclaiming 1.5 Miles of Manhattan.” High Line. 2003:306-307.

2002

“Principles for the Rebuilding of Lower Manhattan.” New York Visions. 2002 Feb: 8-9.

“Designed Landscape Forum III: Tide Point.” Land Forum 13: The International Review of Landscape Architecture Garden Art Environmental Planning and Urban Design. 3rd ed, 2002

“Project 2002: W Architecture: DoMa Gallery House.” GA Houses. 70, 2002: 52-53.