Since 2010, the Society of Architectural Historians has honored individual professionals for their stellar achievements in architectural practice and academia in the yearly Awards for Architectural Excellence. This year's awards went to architects Carol Ross Barney, Stuart Cohen, Julie Hacker, and Oswaldo Ortega.
The recipients will be presented with their awards during the SAH's 10th annual Awards Gala on November 8.
Read on to learn more about the 2019 recipients.
Award for Excellence in Design, Leadership and Service: Carol Ross Barney, Design Principal, Ross Barney Architects
Carol Ross Barney, FAIA, has been in the vanguard of civic space design since founding Ross Barney Architects in 1981. With a career that spans over 40 years, Ross Barney has made significant contributions to the built environment, the profession, and architectural education. As an architect, urbanist, mentor, and educator, she has relentlessly advocated that excellent design is a right, not a privilege. Her body of work occupies a unique place within the panorama of contemporary architecture, being exclusively composed of work in the public realm.
Ross Barney is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Following graduation, she served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica planning national parks. She teaches an advanced Design Studio at IIT and serves on their College Board of Overseers. Ross Barney’s work has been honored with over 100 major design awards. Her notable projects include the McDonalds’ Chicago Flagship Restaurant, CTA Cermak-McCormick Place and CTA Morgan Street Stations, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation Synagogue, Oklahoma City Federal Building, and the MultiModal Terminal at O’Hare International Airport, to name a few. She is also currently working on the Chicago Rivers
Award for Excellence in Design, Academics and Scholarship: Stuart Cohen, FAIA, and Julie Hacker, FAIA Partners, Stuart Cohen & Julie Hacker Architects
Stuart Cohen, FAIA, and Julie Hacker, FAIA, are a husband and wife team with a practice that specializes in residential design. They have been working together for over thirty years. Cohen and Hacker continue to actively produce architectural programs, lectures and symposia, for different organizations locally and nationally.
Cohen is a graduate of Cornell University and worked in New York for Philip Johnson. He is professor of architecture emeritus at the University of Illinois Chicago and is the author of three books on Chicago’s historic residential architecture. He is the 2018 recipient of an Arthur Ross Award for writing and history from the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art.
Hacker is a graduate of Wesleyan University and of the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois Chicago. She is a recipient of a Chicago Women in Architecture Award and worked for the firms of Booth Hansen and Hammond Beeby and Babka. She is a Preservation Commissioner for the City of Evanston and sits on the Board of the nonprofit “Across the Table.” She was a co-founder of the Chicago Chapter AIA CRAN (Custom Residential Architecture Network), is currently a co-chair of the local chapter and serves on CRAN’s National Steering Committee.
Pathfinder Award: Oswaldo Ortega, AIA, LEED, AP
Oswaldo Ortega, AIA, is an associate in the Chicago office of Gensler, where he has led master planning studies and architectural and interior projects, both locally and globally. In 2019 Ortega received an AIA Young Architects Award for his exceptional leadership in the field and visionary development of programs that foster the next generation of design professionals. Drawing on values he learned from his parents, who immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic shortly before his birth, Ortega has pursued architecture steadfastly while making time to support the underserved. Beginning in 2003, with his founding of the Society of Multicultural Architects & Designers while a student at Syracuse University, he has continued to develop initiatives that serve communities and diversify the profession.
During his tenure as the president of the Illinois chapter of The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), Ortega expanded and restructured I-NOMA’s Project Pipeline, a program that exposes minority students from underserved communities to the architecture profession beginning at age 10 and supports their development through to their licensure exams. Using the city of Chicago as a classroom, Project Pipeline connects local youth with architects and planners to provides them with hands-on experience through field trips, workshops, speaking engagements, career days, and a four-day Architectural Summer Camp. SAH first became acquainted with Ortega when it sponsored the 2016 Project Pipeline Architectural Summer Camp. At the time, he was revamping the curriculum to introduce students to the extraordinary architecture on Chicago university campuses such as the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago.
Most recently, Ortega was the project architect for the Johnson controls Asian Regional Headquarters in Shanghai, coordinating the efforts of the Gensler’s Chicago and Shanghai offices. Ortega represented the firm during 11 trips to Shanghai, establishing himself as a critical team member and client contact.
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