W is an interdisciplinary woman-owned studio which builds on links between architecture and landscape architecture to create spaces that engage both nature and urbanism. Founded in NYC in 1999, we have projects in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the United States. THE PEOPLE W is organized around the commitment of Founder Barbara Wilks to quality design and active participation in all levels of the firm’s projects. With over 42 years of experience, she believes that effective leadership on complex projects requires vision, a collaborative and talented team, effective communication, and persistent commitment to finding solutions to project goals and aspirations.
The staff is organized in a flexible studio manner and includes experienced project managers, urban designers, landscape architects and LEED accredited professionals, who engage in each project through its successful completion. THE PROCESS W works closely with the team to achieve consensus on an authentic and delightful design which combines strong conceptual ideas with environmental concerns. Projects are often complex involving multiple constituencies with differing points of view, on challenging sites with sensitive environmental conditions and infrastructure.
Our creative outlook on what exists allows us to maximize the value of what is there, turn constraints into opportunities and expand project possibilities. W is committed to thorough collaboration across traditional design boundaries. We bring together a team of specialists tailored to the needs of each project. Those might include artists, lighting designers, ecologists, engineers and economists. Research into the history of the place and the processes that have shaped it, coupled with analysis of opportunities and constraints enables creative solutions which align finance, policy, sustainability and design.
THE WORK W’s work seeks to engage its visitors. A synthesis of landscape and architectural design facilitates the transition between regional planning, urban infrastructure, public spaces, individual buildings, and private landscapes. Projects range in scale from private homes to educational campuses to entire urban neighborhoods. Our designs have received top national design awards in landscape architecture and urban and regional design in the ten years since the firm’s founding, and have been published in The New York Times, Global Architect, Landscape Architecture Magazine, Architectural Record, ela [Korea], Architect’s Newspaper, House Beautiful, Casabella and other books and periodicals around the world.