Carol Ross Barney, FAIA, founder and principal of Ross Barney Architects, was announced as the recipient of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award. Selected by the AIA Chicago's board of directors since 2006, the honor is given to architects "who have made a lasting impact on the practice, the profession and the built environment in Chicago," according to the same release. Ross Barney will officially receive the award at the 62nd annual Designight 2017 on Oct. 13.
“This is a tremendous and unexpected honor,” said Ross Barney in the release, “I love Chicago and it’s a privilege to create public spaces here.”
Ross Barney received her B.Arch from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1971, where she later became the first female recipient of the Francis J. Plym Traveling Fellowship in 1982. A year earlier in 1981, she founded Carol Ross Barney Architects—known as Ross Barney + Jankowski when she partnered with Jim Jankowski, FAIA, (now principal at CannonDesign) from 1986 to 2005—which would eventually evolve into Ross Barney Architects. The seasoned architect has also been an adjunct professor of architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology since 1994.
Over the years Ross Barney's practice has garnered praise for numerous projects, having been presented with over 100 design awards. The firm has won four national AIA Honor Awards, including one in 1994 for the Cesar Chavez Elementary School in Chicago; and another in 2009 for the Champaign Public Library in Champaign, Ill. Ross Barney has also won several state and regional AIA chapter awards for projects including the CTA Morgan Street Station in Chicago in 2013, and the University of Minnesota Duluth James Swenson Civil Engineering Building in Dulut, Minn. In 2015, Ross Barney was honored with the AIA Illinois Gold Medal.
Matthew Dumich, FAIA, president of AIA Chicago’s board of directors called Ross Barney "a visionary trailblazer, generous mentor and vocal community leader." He went on to say, "Carol is known as ‘the People’s Architect’ because her significant contributions to the built environment have a profound daily impact on the way Chicagoans experience and interact with our city through accessible, engaging civic architecture, infrastructure and public realm design excellence.”
Ross Barney joins the ranks of former recipients such as Ron Krueck, FAIA (2016), Richard H. Driehaus (2015), and John Vinci, FAIA (2014).