Project leader of several remarkable projects, many of which public commissions, Carol Ross Barney has been awarded with the 2023 AIA Gold Medal, an acknowledgment that the American Institute of Architects give out to honor “an individual whose significant body of work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture”.
The work of Carol Ross Barney and her office, Ross Barney Architects, founded in 1981 in Chicago, has been recognized for her “pursuit of architecture that betters the daily life of all who interact with it”. Indeed, in just over 40 years of work, she has proved her commitment to making the world a better place, and while doing so, also left an indelible mark on the profession, which completely fulfills the objective of the Gold Medal.
The 2023 Jury that delivered the prize to Ross Barney comprised Nathaniel Hudson (Chair), FormGrey Studio; Joseph Benjamin, Lake; Arathi P. Gowda, ZGF Architects; Anne Hicks Harney, Long Green Specs; Jaime Torres Carmona, Canopy/architecture + design; Andrew Tyley, RSHP (formerly Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners); and Melodie Yashar, ICON.
In the public announcement following this news, the AIA has described Ross Barney as “an unrivaled architect for the people”, and praised her for exuding “design excellence, social responsibility, and generosity”. Among her most awarded and recognized projects, we find the important and highly-scrutinized Oklahoma City Federal Building, erected after the 1995 terrorist bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, that also marked the first time a woman architect had been selected to lead such a commission. Ross Barney has also designed the 2.4 km-long Chicago Riverwalk in her hometown, which has injected new life in this stretch of town and stands as a model for rethinking a city’s water resources.
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