Wilson for web 2

Richard Wilson

Director Richard A. Wilson leads the City Design Practice at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.

Richard has 30+ years of experience working with public and private sector clients to master plan, design, construct, and operate large-scale urban districts, waterfront, and corridor revitalization initiatives in cities and regions worldwide. 

Select North American works for which Richard served as the planning and urban design principal include the Chicago Central Area Action Plan, the Chicago Covid Recovery Plan, the Chicago Riverwalk Main Branch Framework, the Chicago Industrial Corridor Modernization North Branch Framework, the planning and design of Pullman National Monument, and the United Nations Headquarters Master Plan in New York City.

Select international works include the master planning and urban design for the World Expo 2020 Dubai, the National Capital District of Jamaica, city waterfront design for Istanbul, Montego Bay, and Port Antonio, and new city design for projects in China, India, and the Middle East.

Richard serves on the Board of Directors for the land economics society Lambda Alpha International, Friends of the Chicago River, the Historic Pullman Foundation, and the Advisory Council of the US National Parks Conservation Association.


University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, Bachelor of Architecture, 1997
University of Memphis, Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1990

Professional Registrations + Affiliations

American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP)
American Planning Association (APA)
American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Lambda Alpha International (LAI), Chicago President Elect
Urban Land Institute (ULI)
Friends of the Chicago River  Board of Direcctors
Burnham Memorial Competition Organizer, 2009
AIA Chicago, Regional & Urban Design Committee, Chair

Awards + Honors

2017 ASLA Award, Analysis and Planning, Honor Award, Positioning Pullman
2017 The Chicago Athenaeum, Green Good Design Award, Green Urban Planning, Wuhan Bridgehead CBD
2016 Metropolitan Planning Council, Burnham Award, The Transforming Community of Pullman
2016 Architect's Newspaper, Best of Design Awards, Urban Design, Honorable Mention, Positioning Pullman
2016 AIA Chicago, Regional and Urban Design Awards, Citation of Merit, Positioning Pullman
2016 APA-IL Chapter Awards, Strategic Plan, Positioning Pullman
2016 AIA Illinois, 2016 Daniel Burnham Award, Positioning Pullman
2016 The Chicago Athenaeum, Green Good Design Award, Green Urban Planning, Pullman National Monument Redevelopment Plan
2016 The Chicago Athenaeum, International Architecture Award, Golden Horn Shipyard
2016 The Chicago Athenaeum, Green Good Design Award, Green Urban Planning, Astana Expo City
2015 WAN Future Projects, Urban Design Award, Shortlist, Golden Horn Shipyard
2013 AIA National Regional and Urban Design Award, Great Lakes Vision
2011 AIA National Regional and Urban Design Award, Beijing CBD
2011 Chicago Athenaeum Green Good Design Award, Beijing CBD
2011 AIA Chicago Regional and Urban Design Honor Award, Great Lakes Vision
2010 AIA Illinois Daniel Burnham Merit Award, Beijing CBD
2010 LEAF Awards, Master Planning & Landscape Finalist, Beijing CBD
2010 Friends of the Chicago River Green Ribbon Award, Chicago Riverwalk
2009 AIA National Regional and Urban Design Award, Chicago Lakeside
2009 AIA Chicago Regional and Urban Design Honor Award, Chicago Riverwalk
2009 AIA Chicago President’s Citation, Burnham Memorial Competition
2009 AIA Boston Citation for Excellence in Urban Design, Chicago Lakeside
2009 Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award, Chicago Lakeside

Lectures + Presentations

2014 Mayors’ Institute on City Design, Urban Design
2013 Super Meeting GTalk, Global Planning
2013 Catholic University, City Planning
2011 Harvard University, Planning Downtown Chicago
2011 Virginia Tech, SOM City Design Practice
2010 Chicago Architecture Foundation, Chicago Riverwalk
2010 Great Lakes Days, Washington, D.C., Great Lakes Vision
2010 Design Futures Council, Great Lakes Vision
2009 Friends of the Parks, Chicago Lakeside Development
2009 US/Canadian International Joint Commission, Great Lakes Vision
2009 Upper Midwest Planning Conference, Burnham Memorial Competition
2008 World Congress of Architecture, Turin, Italy, Design of Cities
2008 American Planning Association, Metro Division, Chicago Central Area Action Plan
2008 Friends of Downtown, Chicago Central Area Action Plan

Major projects at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture:

Cherrywood Area Lands Master Plan Vision
The master plan creates a  sustainable and resilient community that integrates leading advances in master planning, urban design, climate change mitigation, and environmental stewardship to help address the pressing growth needs impacting the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) by delivering a minimum of 25,000 units of housing. Toronto, Ontario

Xiamen Oceanfront Center for Global Competition
The master plan addresses 600 ha of land and 7 million m2 of buildings organized to maximize the value of the oceanfront location and to elevate the visitor and athlete experience. A major sports complex and convention center anchor the waterfront with an entertainment and transit hub located in the center to provide high levels of commuter access and activity during event and non-event days throughout the year. Xiamen, China

Al Wasl Plaza
Centerpiece for Expo2020 combines breathtaking design, innovative technology, and an intricate domed trellis incorporating a huge immersive projection experience. After the Expo completes in 2021, the surrounding 10-13 story buildings will be converted into hotels and other commercial uses, complementing the entire mixed-use legacy of the site. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Expo 2020 Dubai
Expo 2020’s theme, Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, seeks to inspire ideas and partnerships that will forge the world of tomorrow. AS+GG’s master plan of the post-expo site draws from the same theme to create three separate districts including a mixed use, highly amenitized live-work clusters of corporate, SME, startup, and educational enterprises.

Dubai 2020 Legacy Vision
Vision planning for the Expo 2020 Dubai to Legacy (District 2020) with district framework design, guidelines and parcel design. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Lakeview Village
AS+GG consulted with Lakeview Community Partners Limited to evaluate the feasibility of a draft comprehensive development plan for property located in southeast Mississauga on the shores of Lake Ontario. Mississauga, Ontario

Golden Leaf Gardens
Highly sustainable mixed-use complex sets a new standard for buildings in Shanghai. The project manages 100% of rainwater on site, supporting a robust approach to resiliency. The buildings are designed to be certified LEED Platinum under the USGBC’s LEED rating scheme for core and shell. Shanghai, China

Shenzhen-Hong Kong International Center (Shimao Tower)
New tower at the center of AS+GG’s Shimao Shenzhen Longgang Master Plan is the main focal point for the development’s office and apartment buildings. At approximately 700 meters in height, the tower will be a visual, sound, and light show, reinforcing the district’s athletic and entertainment functions. The tower’s top has one of the world’s highest observation experiences and additional club facilities that include a restaurant, a night club, spa services, and a grand swimming pool, all with views of the city. Shenzhen, China

Lakeside Residential Towers
Competition entry for luxury two-tower residential complex that responds to the site’s constraints as opportunities. Units are carved out of slopping areas of glass, giving each a unique character with exceptional views toward the lake, river, and surrounding city, while minimizing views into adjacent buildings. Chicago, Illinois

North Branch Industrial Corridor Design Guidelines
Design guidelines written to act as an appendix to the North Branch Industrial Corridor Framework Plan and identify a range of urban design recommendations to inform public and private sector coordination of development. Chicago, Illinois

United Nations Master Planning
Real estate strategy, urban design, and conceptual architecture for a range of new building alter-natives on and adjacent to the United Nations headquarters in Midtown Manhattan.

Beaubien Woods Action Plan
Community Action Plan for a natural wonder of Chicago’s South Side and one of only two forest preserves located within the city limits of Chicago. The project features 279 acres of prairie, woodland, and wetland habitats with 1.5 miles of river frontage, boat launch facilities, and fishing hot spot Flatfoot Lake. AS+GG organized 60 design professionals and community members to conduct a multi-day workshop to identify and illustrate development opportunities with a strong focus on job creation, workforce development, food access, transit and bike connectivity, river activation, health and wellness initiatives. Chicago, Illinois

Pacific Park Master Plan
The master plan seeks to improve the borough by reconnecting neighborhoods that have long been divided by the LIRR corridor via a dynamic, mixed-use environment with high-quality housing, green space, retail, and entertainment attractions. Brooklyn, New York

Wuhan Erqi Qiaotou District
Development plan for the 90 acre Hankou Riverfront Erqi Business District, located between the First and Second Ring Roads, fronting the Yangtze River. Goals included expanding opportunities for office, residential, and complementary uses, as well as increasing green space, balancing biodiversity, and reducing energy demand and carbon emissions. Wuhan, China

South Bend Renaissance District
New campus design of a former 92,903 sm Studebaker manufacturing facility, located in the Renaissance District of South Bend. Redevelopment will provide a platform for data and technology companies. South Bend, Indiana

Global Mobility Center
Competition design for 18,000 sm Dubai Expo 2020 signature building with educational legacy as Institute for Global Mobility. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Burj 2020
Supertall commercial tower’s sustainability strategies include water use reduced by 51% and overall energy use reduced by 38% against baseline building design. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Akhmat Tower
400-meter-tall design for a new tower shares a geometric relationship to the traditional watch tower in its architectural proportion, the use of a four-sided pyramidal shape, and the monumental top. Grozny, Russia

Golden Horn Shipyard
Master plan for mixed-use district within the shipyard grounds that seeks to retain and celebrate legacy elements of its historic operations. The land area of the district totals 31 hectares with 2 km of water frontage. A visionary master plan was developed for this important waterfront site in the heart of the city. The material shown presents an overview of the analysis, principles, urban design and data-driven analytical tools developed for the client. Istanbul, Turkey

Pullman National Monument
An action plan that in coordination with forty volunteer economists, architects, landscape architects, planners, and engineers, working with Pullman residents and a team of technical advisors with ex-pertise in the neighborhood and the region. The projects featured in “Positioning Pullman” are the result of a collaborative community workshop hosted by NPCA and the AIA. The 33 projects are clus-tered in several areas, including improving the park experience, historic preservation and adaptive reuse, access and connections to the area, and leveraging the national monument for community development. Chicago, Illinois

AS+GG Density Study
An internal research project which looked at the key sustainability aspects of building typologies ranging from suburban single-family homes through 750 m mega towers. To ensure comparability all community prototypes were designed in house for 2000 units with differing total building number, one supertall tower with 2000 units versus 2000 suburban homes. The study analyzed the prototypes in terms of land use, energy demand, transportation, and life cycle carbon emissions. Chicago, Illinois

Master Planning and Architecture for 174 hectare international exposition site features exhibition and cultural pavilions; a residential development; service areas including shopping, socio-cultural, educational and civic facilities; and site-wide parks. Astana, Kazakhstan

Major projects completed while at Gensler, Washington DC,  prior to joining Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture:

DC2024 Olympic Bid Master Plan
Washington, DC, 2014

Gallaudet University Redevelopment Plan
Washington, DC, 2014

Transit-Oriented Development Plan
New Carrollton, Maryland, 2014

Southwest Partnership Plan
Baltimore, Maryland, 2014

Capitol District Redevelopment Vision
Raleigh, North Carolina, 2014

Sports City
Tunis, Republic of Tunisia, 2014  

United Nations Long Term Accommodations Study
New York, New York, 2013

Ejabah Master Plan
Makkah, Saudi Arabia, 2013

Xiamen Sports City Master Plan
Xiamen, China, 2013

KA-CARE Stage Three
Saudi Arabia, 2013 

Major projects at Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill, Chicago:

Downtown Dubai/Business Bay Vision
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2012

Chicago Expressrail
Chicago, Illinois, 2012

KA-CARE Stage Two
Saudi Arabia, 2011

Wave Master Plan
Noida, India, 2011

KA-CARE Stage One
Saudi Arabia, 2010

Mataf Capacity of the Holy Mosque
Makkah, Saudi Arabia, 2010 

Jaypee City
National Capital Region, India, 2010

Government Colony
Mumbai, India, 2010 

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 2010

Beijing CBD East Expansion
Beijing, China, 2010

Kingdom Tower Competition
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 2009

Chicago Riverwalk Plan
Chicago, Illinois, 2009

Chicago Lakeside Development
Chicago, Illinois, 2009

Chicago 2016 Olympic Bid
Chicago, Illinois, 2009

Great Lakes Vision
North America, 2009

Tianjin Binhai New Area CBD
Tanggu, China, 2008


Major projects at URS Corporation:

Downtown Capital District Plan
Trenton, New Jersey, 2008 

Northeast Smart Growth Plan
El Paso, Texas, 2008 

North Milwaukee Avenue Corridor Plan
Chicago, Illinois, 2008 

Bridge Design Guidelines
Kane County, Illinois, 2008 

Chicago Central Area Action Plan
Chicago, Illinois, 2007

Winona Comprehensive Plan
Winona, Minnesota, 2007 

Central Lake View Strategic Plan
Chicago, Illinois, 2007 

Transit-Oriented Development Plan
Midlothian, Illinois, 2007

Transit-Oriented Development Plan
Riverside, Illinois, 2006

Zoning Ordinance
Riverside, Illinois, 2006 

Comprehensive Plan
Lake Barrington, Illinois, 2006 

Millennium Park Economic Analysis
Chicago, Illinois, 2005

Comprehensive Plan
Libertyville, Illinois, 2005 

Zoning Ordinance
Homewood, Illinois, 2005 

Metropolitan Square
Des Plaines, Illinois, 2005

Major projects at Camiros, Ltd:

Woodfield Regional Center Architectural Guidelines
Schaumburg, Illinois, 2004

Blues District Plan and Development Guidelines
Chicago, Illinois, 2004 

LISC New Communities Program
Chicago, Illinois, 2004 

East Garfield Park Neighborhood Plan
Chicago, Illinois, 2004 

Humboldt Park Neighborhood Plan
Chicago, Illinois, 2004 

Little Village Neighborhood Plan
Chicago, Illinois, 2004 

“Weed and Seed” Neighborhood Plan
South Bend, Indiana, 2004 

Riverbend Vision and Guidelines
Beloit, Wisconsin, 2004 

Disaster Recovery Planning
Jackson, Tennessee, 2004 

Washington Park Neighborhood Plan
Chicago, Illinois, 2003 

Third Ward Redevelopment Plan
Chicago, Illinois, 2003 

Transit-Oriented Development Plan
Tinley Park, Illinois, 2003 

183rd Street Corridor Plan
Cook County, Illinois, 2003 

Second Ward Restoration Plan
Clairton, Pennsylvania, 2003 

Monticello Park
Chicago Park District project. Chicago, Illinois, 2003

Downtown Strategic Plan
Urbana, Illinois, 2002 

Elston Avenue Corridor Plan
Chicago, Illinois, 2002 

Maple Avenue Redevelopment Plan
Beloit, Wisconsin, 2002 

HOPE VI Application
Hamtramck, Michigan, 2002 

Zabrocki Plaza
Tinley Park, Illinois, 2002

North End Strategic Plan
Michigan City, Indiana

Southside Commercial Corridor Plan
Mundelein, Illinois, 2001

Transit-Oriented Development Plan
Riverdale, Illinois, 2001

Grand Haven Restoration Plan
Hamtramck, Michigan, 2001

Heritage Overlay District and Guidelines
Wheaton, Illinois, 2001

Riverfront Planning
US Army Corp of Engineers project. East St. Louis, Illinois, 2001

Downtown Plan
Highland Park, Illinois, 2000

Retail Design Guidelines
Chicago, Illinois, 2000 

Disaster Recovery Planning
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 2000 

Disaster Recovery Planning
Midwest City, Oklahoma, 2000 

Disaster Recovery Planning
Haysville, Kansas, 2000 

Disaster Recovery Planning
Little Rock, Arkansas, 2000