Alicia Ponce Recognized as

2023 Chicago Women in Architecture Breaking Glass Awardee

The Breaking Glass Award honors established architects who are changing the face of the profession through their achievements and design excellence. The 2023 Breaking Glass Awardee is Alicia Ponce, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP the Founder and Principal of APMonarch, a Chicago based Latina owned Architecture firm.

Under Ponce’s direction, the firm provides architectural services, sustainability consulting and community engagement for projects throughout the Midwest and Mexico. Her expertise and passion to design healthy buildings and equitable communities creates architecture that is ambitious, thoughtful,and healthy. APMonarch provides these services to diverse sectors including Commercial, Higher-Education, Civic, Healthcare, and Retail.

Ponce refers to APMonarch as the pollinator of the built environment designing healthy environments that look good, feel good and perform great. The firm’s promise is to build zero carbon architecture. Demonstrating that promise is Ponce’s recent architecture commission to design Centro Amazing, a civic center located in Aguascalientes, Mexico which is to be constructed from rammed earth.

A registered architect in Illinois and Wisconsin, Ponce has over 25 years of architecture and sustainability experience and is a graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

In 2020, she founded Arquitina, a national 501(c)3 organization with a mission to raise the 1% of licensed Latina architects in the U.S. She is the creator of the award-winning book Latinas in Architecture. 

In 2022, Ponce received the Landmarks Illinois Influencer award and the Maestro Leader Award. She is a Commissioner with Chicago Landmarks and is a Board Member for United Way Metro Chicago. 


Established in 2022, the Chicago Women in Architecture Breaking Glass Award honors established architects who are changing the face of the profession through their achievements and design excellence.


Chicago Women in Architecture (CWA)

CWA is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit membership organization founded in 1974 to establish community, mentorship, visibility, and advocacy for women working in the field of architecture and related professions. Through the ongoing efforts of the entirely volunteer-led organization, this mission is realized by offering educational, professional, and social networking events; organizing and sponsoring lectures in partnership with like-minded organizations; and awarding annual scholarships to women architecture students in their final year of study.

Chicago Women in Architecture Foundation (CWAF)

In 2003, CWAF was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Today, CWAF continues its support of CWA initiatives by raising funds to expand scholarship offerings as well as fundraising for events and special projects that further the careers for women in and around the field of architecture.