Roula Alakiotou FAIA leads ROULA ASSOCIATES ARCHITECTS, CHTD, an architectural practice based in Chicago. Ms Roula studied Architecture at the Athens Technological Institute, and received her Bachelor of Architecture with High Distinction in Design from the University of Illinois in Chicago in 1975. She then attended the University of Illinois in Urbana /Champaign, where she graduated with Honors in 1978 with a Master of Architecture Degree. In 1997 her peers elevated her to a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
Prior to Chicago, she studied & worked with Constantine Doxiadis Office “Ekistics” in Athens Greece, where she contributed to large-scale projects, including airports in the Middle East, and master planning of decentralizing Athens.
In Chicago, prior to founding her firm, she worked with the Chicago City Architect’s Office, where she contributed to several award-winning urban and historic projects, including the renovation & readaptation of Chicago’s Navy Pier, a mile long pier previously the center of shipping and commerce to a community and tourist attraction center; the restoration and the physical raising and relocation of Widow Clark’s House; the Southwest multi-purpose senior citizen center, and other community service based projects. She authored the Chicago Beautification Manual, designing guidelines for business strips facades, signage, street parking, and other amenities for neighborhood improvement.
In 1980 Ms Roula founded her office, a veteran in women-owned architectural firms, with an impressive record of clients and practice, which embraces municipal, commercial, and residential projects with a particular emphasis on large-scale public sector projects. She has taught at the University of Illinois Chicago college of Architecture as an adjunct associate professor, and served in many student work juries. Her work has been exhibited widely, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and the Historical Society of Chicago permanent collection.
She has been active in civic and charitable activities. From 1986 to 1992 she served under three mayors as the first architect on the five member Zoning Board of Appeals. Since 1986 to present she serves on Chicago’s Building Department Committee on Standards and Tests. She was a co-founder of the Architects for Social Responsibility-Chicago, the founder and president of North Lakeside Cultural Center and led the community to acquire and develop Berger Park located on North Sheridan Road. She has served Chicago’s Greek Community on a variety pro-bono work for the Hellenic Museum and Greektown USA, served on the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Foundation, Hellenic Museum & Cultural Center, United Hellenic American Congress, and SAE of America. She is a member of The Chicago Network (TCN), The Chicago Architectural Club (CAC), Chicago Women Architects (CWA), and the Executives Club of Chicago (ECC), and she served on the Board of Directors of The International Women’s Forum (IWF).