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 leads ROULA ASSOCIATES ARCHITECTS, Chtd. an architectural practice based in Chicago. She studied Architecture at the Athens Technological Institute. Her peers elevated her to a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) in 1997.

Roula has worked at Constantine Doxiadis’ Office “Ekistics” in Athens, contributing to large-scale projects, such as Middle East Airports and Master Planning of Athens’ decentralization.

In Chicago, she has worked with the Chicago Department of Public Works and City Architect’s Office, contributing to several urban and historic projects, including the renovation /readaptation of Chicago’s Navy Pier, in addition to several other community-service based projects. She authored the Chicago Beautification Manual, designing guidelines for business strips facades, signage, street parking, and other amenities for neighborhoods improvement.

In 1980 founded her firm, a veteran in women-owned architectural firms, with an impressive record of clients and practice of a particular emphasis on large-scale public sector projects. She has taught at UIC as an adjunct associate professor, served on student work juries, served on AIA Gold Medal & Firm Award jury in Washington DC, and mentors international interns in her office from the Art Institute Chicago School of Architecture.

Some other notable achievements include serving four mayors through her appointment to Chicago’s Zoning Board of Appeals, and to the Building Department Code Standards Review committee. She was honored for her contributions to the City by Chicago’s City Council in 2 Resolutions (1992+2005)  and was inducted into the Today’s Chicago Woman Hall of Fame.  In 2013 she was named a “Living treasure of Edgewater”  by the Edgewater Historical Society for leading the development of Berger Park in her neighborhood.


Notable Projects

Some of Roula’s notable projects and publications include:

  • People mover system ‘Remote Station’ at O’Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois
  • 35th & Archer SW CTA Station’ to Midway Airport, Chicago, Illinois
  • Cook County Max Security Facility Division XI, Chicago, Illinois
  • St. John’s Greek Orthodox Monastery, Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • Publication: AIA Chicago 2/14:Jail Break, Roula’s design for Cook County is no prisoner of detention.
  • Publication: Correctional News 8/13: “Building for the Future” Cook County Residential Treatment Unit – How following best practices leads to successful facilities.