2018 CWAF Lifetime Achievement Award


The Chicago Women in Architecture Foundation is proud to announce Roula Alakiotou, FAIA, as a recipient of the CWA Lifetime Achievement Award. The award honors distinguished women who have positively contributed to our organization and supported the issues faced by women architects during the 40+ years of CWA’s existence. Their contribution has been found to affect the lives and careers of others in the architecture community and inspired new generations of women to become actively involved in our organization and the field of architecture.

About Roula

Roula Alakiotou, FAIA, is the founding Principal of ROULA ASSOCIATES ARCHITECTS, CHTD. She received a Bachelor of Architecture from University of Illinois Chicago in 1975, and a Masters of Architecture fromUniversity of Illinois, Urbana Champaign in 1978.

Roula was elevated to a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1997.

Prior to moving to the United States, she studied Architecture for 3 years with Constantinos Doxiadis at the Athens Technical Institute and worked in his office “Ekistics” for the master planning of the city of Athens.

In Chicago, Roula worked for the City Architect’s Office,Dept of Public Works, contributing to a number of Chicago’s significant urban and historic preservation projects, including the re-adaptation of Navy Pier;the restoration and physical relocation of the historic Widow Clarke’s House; and thecreation of the Chicago Beautification Manual, a set of guidelines for business strip facades, signage, and street parking developed to improve neighborhoods.

Roula founded her own firm in 1980, a veteran in woman-owned architectural practice with special expertise in large-scale public projects.

Notable Projects

Select Public Projects Include:

  • O’Hare International Airport People Mover Remote Station
  • Chicago Public Schools, City Colleges, and Courthouses
  • CTA 35th/Archer Southwest Transit Station to Midway Airport
  • State Street Subway Station
  • CHA Housing and Community Centers
  • Cook County Department of Corrections2,600 bed-capacity Facilities,

for which Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin wrote, “She brought considerable vision to the job… meld[ing] a tough-minded concern for security with an innovative, humanistic vision.”

Select Private Projects Include:

  • An 80-acre Byzantine Greek Orthodox Monastery in Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • Conversion of large apartment buildings to condominiums, including Lake Point Tower; River City; 1212 N. LaSalle; and Skyline on Brickell in Miami, FL

Civic works include:

  • Served three mayors on Chicago’s Zoning Board of Appeals.
  • Sits on the Building Department’sCommittee on Standards and Tests.
  • Member of The Chicago Network (TCN), Chicago Women in Architecture (CWA). International Women’s Forum (IWF)Board of Directors.
  • Co-founder of Architects for Social Responsibility.
  • The Edgewater Society and Museum named Roula a “Living Treasure of Edgewater” for her work leading the community to acquire and develop the Berger Park Community Center on North Sheridan Road.