What We Believe


We believe that well-designed places can elevate the human experience, triggering reflection, awareness, and action on the part of visitors. The best designs build relationships between ourselves, our communities, and the earth.

What We Do


At W we create meaningful places where cities and nature come together. The result is places that inspire, uplift, and strengthen communities. Our special expertise is working with urban waterfront sites, where we transform neglected, marginal areas into vital places for people to gather and experience the poetry of life. Our designs unlock potential for positive change and healthier, resilient, more connected communities.

Who We Are


We are a woman-established, woman-owned, and woman-managed business with a more than 20-year legacy creating places that connect people to nature and each other. Approachable and collaborative, the combined experience of our leadership ties together the best aspects of landscape architecture, urban design, and architecture with playful and sustainable design, superior construction documentation and project management, and a deep understanding of human development and our relationship with the natural world. Based in New York City, our holistic approach generates beautiful solutions that simultaneously solve challenges of scale, scope, and budget while creating places that uplift and delight the people who use them every day.

W Architecture - Studio

Barbara Wilks
Founding Principal, Architect / Landscape Architect


Barbara Wilks, FAIA, FASLA, is a leader in the design of urban, public, and institutional projects. With more than 40 years of combined experience practicing both architecture and landscape architecture, she is a passionate advocate for reconnecting our urban spaces to nature and provides a distinctive perspective and ability to unify spaces and connect communities. “Seen as a whole, we can no longer distinguish ‘Nature’ as a place apart or separate from human endeavor and habitation. We are immersed in and shaped by it. Embracing this is essential to how we live and design.”

Amy Mitchell
Managing Principal, Landscape Architect


An award-winning and visionary landscape architect, Amy Mitchell, ASLA, is W’s business leader as well as its Chief Play Officer. She believes deeply in the importance of play for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Her work can be found in a range of settings from streets to schools, parks, and specialized children’s environments around the country and abroad. In designing spaces, Amy also believes that our built environments should be as distinctive as each neighborhood and community, and she strives to capture that spirit and character of the communities in every design. To do so, she manages collaborative processes with extensive community outreach to uncover and reflect shared values.

Blair Guppy
Director of Landscape Architecture


A Canadian-born licensed Landscape Architect, Blair’s international design experience and technical expertise span two decades. He is committed to a collaborative design approach, and he is dedicated to deepening his project management, technical, and professional knowledge beyond the confines of traditional practice. His design and project management expertise are grounded in a comprehensive understanding of infrastructure and utility, knowledge of landscape materials and methods, and site construction. A solid understanding of the interconnectedness of both living and technological systems infuses all of his work.

Laquita Birch
Office and Financial Manager


With a degree in accounting and finance from New York University, it’s no surprise that Laquita enjoys solving Sudoku puzzles—“or anything with numbers.” She not only manages all of W’s bookkeeping, but she also handles human resources and is our chief “fixer” for all things office-related.

Yi Lun Yang
Landscape Architect


Yi Lun Yang, PLA,  manages complex urban park and landscape projects, shepherding initial conceptual ideas, and making them a reality. She skillfully works with interdisciplinary teams to address resilience, sustainability, and the uncertainties of climate change on urban waterfronts in the US and abroad. Holding a Master’s in Landscape Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the University of Waterloo, Yi believes that landscape design can transform how we interact with the natural systems within cities. She is committed to creating inclusive urban spaces and unique landscapes that intrinsically blend with local history, culture, and ecology.

Qi An
Senior Landscape Designer


“I believe the sensation of a space creates memories and feelings. And that’s what connects us and our environment. I am learning and sensing the world, and trying to deliver the beautiful moments through every phenomenon of the landscape.” After beginning her career in Shanghai, China, Qi received her Master of Landscape Architecture from Rhode Island School of Design. Her diverse experience and background give her a broad perspective to draw on when creating design details. Likewise, her range of experience with both planning and detailed site design allows her to produce visionary ideas that are beautiful and highly constructible.

Ian Dillon
Landscape Designer


Ian is dedicated to designing with communities, collaborating toward, and implementing a more just, resilient built environment. He is particularly interested in historical and contemporary forms of landscape representation and their ability to communicate complex ideas. Ian comes to W with an MLA Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania where he worked at the Ian L. McHarg Center. He also holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Iowa State University.

Awards

Our work is consistently recognized for superior design by local, regional, national, and international organizations. Of special note are the 2023 Chicago Athenaeum, American Architecture Award for Mississippi River Learning Center, St. Paul, MN; the 2022 ULI Global Award for Excellence for St. Pete Pier Approach, St. Petersburg, FL; the 2022 Chicago Athenaeum, International Architecture Award for The Riverline, Buffalo, NY; the 2020 The Chicago Athenaeum, American Architecture Award for The Edge Park, Brooklyn, NY;  the 2016 Waferont Center, Excellence on Waterfront Award, St. Patrick’s Island, Calgary, AB; the 2009 ASLA NY Chapter, Honor Award, West Harlem Piers Park, New York, NY; and the 2003 ASLA National Design Merit Award for the Tide Point Promenade in Baltimore, MD.

Selected Awards List

2023

The Chicago Athenaeum,
American Architecture Award,
Mississippi River Learning Center, St. Paul, MN

2022

ULI Global Award for Excellence,
St. Pete Pier Approach, St. Petersburg, FL

ULI Americas Award for Excellence,
St. Pete Pier Approach, St. Petersburg, FL

The Chicago Athenaeum,
International Architecture Award,
The Riverline, Buffalo, NY

The Chicago Athenaeum,
American Architecture Award,
The Riverline, Buffalo, NY

The Chicago Athenaeum,
The International Architecture Award,
St. Pete Pier Approach, St. Petersburg, FL

ASLA Honor Award,
The Riverline, Buffalo, NY

2021

American Architecture Award
The Chicago Athenaeum
St Petersburg Pier Approach

ASLA-NY Merit Award
ASLA NY Chapter
St Petersburg Pier Approach

ENR Southeast’s Best Projects Award
Best Project in Landscape / Urban Development
St Petersburg Pier Approach

Rosa Barba Prize Selection
11th Barcelona Biennale

Special Mention: Public Projects
A+Firms Awards, Architizer

 

2020

American Architecture Award
The Chicago Athenaeum
The Edge Park

Excellence on the Waterfront
Waterfront Center
The Pier Approach

Finalist, Category: Built – Large
WLA Awards
The Edge Park

Citation – Contribution to Community Life
AIA Design Awards, CT Chapter
Westport Library

2019

ASLA New York Chapter
Honor Award
Julian B Lane Park and River Center – Tampa, FL

ASLA New York Chapter
Merit Award
The Valley Beeline – Chouteau Greenway – St. Louis, MO

Chicago Athenaeum Good Green Design
Green Urban Planning/Landscape Architecture 2019
The Valley Beeline – Chouteau Greenway – St. Louis, MO

American Architecture Award
The Chicago Athenaeum
Julian B Lane Park – Tampa, FL

American Architecture Award
The Chicago Athenaeum
Julian B Lane River Center – Tampa, FL

Future of the Region Award
Julian B Lane Park & River Center – Tampa, FL

ENR Southeast Best Projects
Julian B Lane Park & River Center – Tampa, FL

2018

Architect’s Newspaper 2018 Best of Design Awards
Honorable Mention for Temporary Installation
85 Broad Street Ground Mural, New York, NY [Concept: W; Design: FXCollaborative]

Interior Design NYCxDESIGN Awards
Urban Landscape/Outdoor Finalist
85 Broad Street Ground Mural, New York, NY [Concept: W; Design: FXCollaborative]

Colorado ASLA
Merit Award
Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, Tampa, FL

2017

American Architecture Award
The Chicago Athenaeum
St Patrick’s Island – Calgary, AB

International Architecture Award
The Chicago Athenaeum
St Patrick’s Island – Calgary, AB

Merit Award for Built Projects
International Making Cities Livable
St Patrick’s Island – Calgary, AB

Public Design Commission
Award for Excellence in Design
Downtown Far Rockaway Urban Design & Streetscape Reconstruction

Public Design Commission
Award for Excellence in Design
Taxi & Limousine Commission Woodside

2016

Excellence on the Waterfront Awards
Waterfront Center
St Patrick’s Island

Fast Company Design Awards
Honorable Mention
St Patrick’s Island

Mayor’s Award
Urban Design Catalyst Calgary
St Patrick’s Island

National Urban Design Award
Royal Architecture Institute of Canada
St Patrick’s Island

AIA NY Chapter Design Awards
Urban Design Honor Award
Plaza 33

ASLA NY Chapter Design Awards
Honor Award
Plaza 33

2015

Canadian Society of Landscape Architects
Regional Merit Award
St. Patrick’s Island

ASLA Denver Chapter
President’s Award of Excellence
St. Patrick’s Island

2014

AIA NY Chapter Design Awards
Urban Design Merit Award
St. Patrick’s Island

2012

AIA NY Chapter
Merit Award
Cornell University, Human Ecology Building

ASLA NY Chapter
Merit Award
The Edge Park

“Making City” Exhibit at Rotterdam Biennale, NYC Department of City Planning
The Edge Park

2011

Glipses 2040: NY/Amsterdam Exhibit
NYC Center for Architecture

St Patricks Island Competition
First Place (w/ Civitas)

2010

MASterworks Awards
Neighborhood Catalyst
West Harlem Piers Park

2009

Honor Award
ASLA NY Chapter
West Harlem Piers Park

Honor Award
The Waterfront Center
West Harlem Piers Park

American Architecture Awards
Sheik Rashied Bin Saeed Crossing
In partnership with FXFowle International, LLC
Role: Landscape Architecture

Merit Award
AIA New York Chapter
Sheik Rashied Bin Saeed Crossing
Dubai Roads and Transport Authority
In partnership with FXFowle International, LLC
Role: Landscape Architecture

2008

Honorable Mention
Architectural Review Award Cityscape Dubai Future Projects
Mixed Use Waterfront Development Plan

UAE Winner
First Place
The Sixth Crossing, Dubai Creek Bridge Design Competition
Dubai Roads and Trans. Authority
In partnership with FXFowle
Role: Landscape Architecture

2007

Honorable Mention
Envisioning Gateway Competition
Van Alan Institute, NPCA, Columbia U., and Tiffany and Co.

2006

Citation
American Institute of Architects
New York State
West Harlem Piers Master Plan

Second Prize – Competition
Seoul Performing Arts Center

2005

National Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design
American Institute of Architects
West Harlem Master Plan and Waterfront Park

2004

Merit Award
National Analysis and Planning American Society of Landscape Architects
West Harlem Master Plan and Waterfront Park

National Honor Award
American Institute of Architects
DOMA Gallery

Excellence in Construction Award
Associated Builders and Contractors
DOMA Gallery

2003

National Design Merit Award
American Society of Landscape Architects
Tide Point

Design Excellence Award
AIA New York Chapter
DoMa Gallery

Honorable Mention
“Designing the High Line”
Competition
Friends of the High Line

2002

Design Excellence Award
Tide Point Waterfront
AIA Maryland

Juried Exhibition
The Physical Fitness of Cities
Tide Point Waterfront Park
Winter Olympics, Salt Lake City

2001

Maryland Smart Growth Award
Tide Point Office Waterfront Park

Baltimore Heritage Preservation Society Award
Tide Point Office Campus & Waterfront Park

Publications

2021

Dynamic Geographies, Barbara Wilks, ORO Editions

2018

Morabito, Valerio.“Water ‘Scape – West Harlem Piers Park”  PAYSAGE TOPSCAPE, isuue33, 2018

WillisBeverly.“Unknown New York – The City That Women Built”Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (BWAF), June 6, 2018

2017

Ahel, Ana.”Ekon Chic”Elle Decoration Magazine Croatia”, March, 2017.

2016

Barbanel, Josh. “Urban Sanctuary Takes Shape Near West Street”The Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2016

Wilks, Barbara. “Going With The Flow” Parks & Rec Business, September, 2016

“St Patrick’s Island” International new Landscape, 09.10.2016.

Landscape Architecture Korea, Issue 342, 10.2016, pgs 16-27
2015

Zarate, Mozes. “At Plaza 33, a Break From the Crowd”The Wall Street Journal, Thursday August 27, 2015

 

Polsky, Sara. “Here Are Five Wacky Visions of New York City in 2040” CurbedNY, June 15, 2011.

Dailey, Jessica. “Penn Station’s New Public Plaza Is Actually Kind of Nice” CurbedNY. August 10, 2015.

2014
Structuring Confluence: The Work of W Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Structuring Confluence: The Work of W Architecture and Landscape Architecture

2012
Lasky, Julie. “The Edge is the Center” Landscape Architecture Magazine, June, 2012.

Lasky, Julie. “The Edge is the Center” Landscape Architecture Magazine, June, 2012.

Silvestro, Tyler. “Troy, Troy Again! Architects revamping an Aging Waterfront”AN Blog, April 9, 2012.

Silvestro, Tyler. “Troy, Troy Again! Architects revamping an Aging Waterfront”AN Blog, April 9, 2012.

Mcmurray, Jenna. “St. Patrick’s Island Extreme Makeover Edition” Calgary Herald, 3, April 26, 2012.

Mcmurray, Jenna. “St. Patrick’s Island Extreme Makeover Edition” Calgary Herald, 3, April 26, 2012.

Pinet, Sophie. “Un Musee Suspendu” French Architectual Digest, 48-49, April 2012.

Pinet, Sophie. “Un Musee Suspendu” French Architectual Digest, 48-49, April 2012.

2009
“West Side Pier Helps Bridge Greenway Gap” NY1. May 20, 2009.

“West Side Pier Helps Bridge Greenway Gap” NY1. May 20, 2009.

“Expanding the Long and Linear Open Space” Landscape Architect China, May 20, 2009: 08-17.

“Expanding the Long and Linear Open Space” Landscape Architect China, May 20, 2009: 08-17.

Son, Seok Beom. “West Harlem Piers Park” ELA: Environment, & Landscape Architecture of Korea 253, May 2009: 58-67.

Son, Seok Beom. “West Harlem Piers Park” ELA: Environment, & Landscape Architecture of Korea 253, May 2009: 58-67.

Son, Seok Boem. “Tide Point” ELA: Environment & Landscape Architecture of Korea 252, April 2009: 58-67.

Son, Seok Boem. “Tide Point” ELA: Environment & Landscape Architecture of Korea 252, April 2009: 58-67.

2007
Dal Verne, Enzo. “La Grande Mela Verde.” LUNA magazine. October 2007.

Dal Verne, Enzo. “La Grande Mela Verde.” LUNA magazine. October 2007.

Pollak, Linda.

Pollak, Linda. “The Landscape for Urban Reclamation.” Lotus 128, Summer 2007: 36-45

2005
Scheineson, Andrew. “Officials Start Pier Renewal: Bloomberg Announces $18.7 Construction Plan for New Harlem Pier.” Daily Columbia Spectator. 1 Nov 2005: 1,4.

Scheineson, Andrew. “Officials Start Pier Renewal: Bloomberg Announces $18.7 Construction Plan for New Harlem Pier.” Daily Columbia Spectator. 1 Nov 2005: 1,4.

Schwartz, Neal J.Z., ed. “Constellations of Hope.” Emergent Memory: The National AIDS Memorial Competition. 2005: 62-63.

Schwartz, Neal J.Z., ed. “Constellations of Hope.” Emergent Memory: The National AIDS Memorial Competition. 2005: 62-63.

Jones, Will. “Radical Approaches to Contemporary Housing: New Residential Architecture: DoMa Gallery.” New Residential Architecture. 2005: 164-167.

Jones, Will. “Radical Approaches to Contemporary Housing: New Residential Architecture: DoMa Gallery.” New Residential Architecture. 2005: 164-167.

“American Institute of Architects: 2005 Honor Awards: 10. West Harlem Waterfront Park.” Architectural Record. May 2005: 151.

“American Institute of Architects: 2005 Honor Awards: 10. West Harlem Waterfront Park.” Architectural Record. May 2005: 151.

“West Harlem Master Plan and Waterfront Park” Landscape Design. 2005: 14

“West Harlem Master Plan and Waterfront Park” Landscape Design. 2005: 14

“Barn Raising: Two art lovers turn a dilapidated barn at their weekend farm near Baltimore into a guesthouse that uniquely connects the old with the new.” House Beautiful. May 2005: 84-90.

“Barn Raising: Two art lovers turn a dilapidated barn at their weekend farm near Baltimore into a guesthouse that uniquely connects the old with the new.” House Beautiful. May 2005: 84-90.

Boschi, Antonello. “Doma Gallery 2003.” Case in vetro. Milano: Federico Motta Editore. 2005:336-45.

Boschi, Antonello. “Doma Gallery 2003.” Case in vetro. Milano: Federico Motta Editore. 2005:336-45.

2004
Buiso, Gary. “Red Hook: Waterfront Hamlet?: New Vision For Downtown Community.” Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill Courier. Vol. XXVLI No.15, 12 April 2004: 1, 8.

Buiso, Gary. “Red Hook: Waterfront Hamlet?: New Vision For Downtown Community.” Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill Courier. Vol. XXVLI No.15, 12 April 2004: 1, 8.

2003
Hoffberger, Catherine. “Shining Through: Even with two of its original walls gone, this structure remains a barn at heart.” Style: Smart Living in Baltimore. Dec 2003:174-181.

Hoffberger, Catherine. “Shining Through: Even with two of its original walls gone, this structure remains a barn at heart.” Style: Smart Living in Baltimore. Dec 2003:174-181.

To the Point

Freeman, Allen. “To the Point.” Landscape Architecture. Nov 2003: 2-11.

DoMa Gallery Baltimore County, Maryland

Amelar, Sarah. “DoMa Gallery Baltimore County, Maryland.” Architectural Record. July 2003.

Designing the High Line: Ideas for Reclaiming 1.5 Miles of Manhattan

“Designing the High Line: Ideas for Reclaiming 1.5 Miles of Manhattan.” High Line. 2003:306-307.

2002
Principles for the Rebuilding of Lower Manhattan

“Principles for the Rebuilding of Lower Manhattan.” New York Visions. 2002 Feb: 8-9.

“Designed Landscape Forum III: Tide Point.” Land Forum 13: The International Review of Landscape Architecture Garden Art Environmental Planning and Urban Design. 3rd ed, 2002

“Designed Landscape Forum III: Tide Point.” Land Forum 13: The International Review of Landscape Architecture Garden Art Environmental Planning and Urban Design. 3rd ed, 2002

“Project 2002: W Architecture: DoMa Gallery House.” GA Houses. 70, 2002: 52-53.

“Project 2002: W Architecture: DoMa Gallery House.” GA Houses. 70, 2002: 52-53.