Roula Alakiotou

CWA Member

Career Information:

Licensed In:
NCARB Certified
Ekistics (Athens, Greece): 1963–1967
Chicago City Architect's Office, Dept. of Public Works: 1975–1979
Roula Associates Architects: 1980–Present
Practice Groups:
Adaptive Reuse
Affordable Housing
Higher Education
Historic Preservation
Interior Architecture
K-12 Education
Master Planning
Multifamily Residential
Parks & Public Spaces
Public Interest Architecture
Senior Housing
Notable Projects:
People mover system 'Remote Station' at O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois, United States
35th & Archer SW CTA Station' to Midway Airport, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Cook County Max Security Facility Division XI, Chicago, Illinois, United States
St. John's Greek Orthodox Monastery, Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States

FAIA, 1997.
Served four mayors by appointment to Chicago's Zoning Board of Appeals 1983- 1986, and to the Building Department Code Standards Review committee 1996-Present.



Teaching Positions:

Taught at UIC, and mentors international students from the Art Institute School of Architecture in her office.

In the Media:

Glamour Magazine:  A better Jail, designed by a woman.
Skyline City Edition: A better Chicago Jail.
Chicago Tribune: Cook County Jail steps into future – Facility is high-tech answer to crowding.
Eleftheros Typos: Greek Architect builds the jail of the future.
Chicago Tribune, Real Estate: Making Corrections.
Today’s Chicago Woman: Rebuilding Chicago’s forgotten treasures.
Chicago Sun Times: Big Development plan for Greektown in works.
Inside Chicago: Women of the 48th Ward
Hellenic Times: Architect who saved Al Capone’s Hotel is preserving Chicago.
Indianapolis Star: Architect finds more than empty vaults in famed Lexington Hotel.
Today’s Chicago Woman: Building Chicago – Our city’s leading women architects discuss form, function and future architectural plans for Chicago.
Madame Figaro Magazine: Droles De Dames.
Friends of the Parks: A New Park in Edgewater.
The Greek Star: Roula in an Art Institute Exhibit.
Streetwise: Crime and Punishment, Cook County Jail.
Chicago Tribune, Metro Chicago: Inmates pray in the New Chapel.

Professional Publications:

AIA Chicago 2/14:Jail Break, Roula’s design for Cook County is no prisoner of detention.
Commercial Building Products, CBP, 4/14: Jail windows provide daylight, security.
AIA Chicago 6/14: Broad Shoulders
Correctional News 8/13: “Building for the Future” Cook County Residential Treatment Unit – How following best practices leads to successful facilities.
Illinois Council of American Registered Architects, 9/97: Our Cover Architect.
Chicago Tribune, Arts, 4/96: Blair Kamin, Architectural Critic – Cook County Max Security Facility Review.
Correctional Building News, 4/96: Cook County opens unique addition.
PBF Magazine, 10/96: Corrective Vision.
Realty & Building, 2/94: An interview with Roula – Architect for the People.
Dodge Construction News, 10/94: Chicago Architecture – Modern Architecture allows corrections to Cook County traditional jail system.


  • University of Illinois at Chicago, Bachelor of Architecture, 1975
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Master of Architecture, 1978

Biographical Information:

Piraeus, Georgia, Greece

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.

She has served four mayors through her appointment to Chicago’s Zoning Board of Appeals, and to the Building Department Code Standards Review committee.

Chicago’s City Council issued 2 Resolutions (1992+2005) honoring her for her contributions to the City; and was inducted into the Today’s Chicago Woman Hall of Fame.

She was named a “Living treasure of Edgewater” 2013 by the Edgewater Historical Society for leading the development of Berger Park in her neighborhood.