“To see architecture as profound optimism” is the foundational principle behind the work of Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.
The husband-and-wife team began working together in New York in 1977, establishing their firm nine years later in the same Central Park South studio where they still work today. As exemplified by important cultural projects such as the American Folk Art Museum (2001) and the recently completed Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, “matter, light, texture, detail, and most of all experience” are the essence of their architecture. Widely appreciated for its sensitivity, timelessness, and beauty, the firm has completed many arts projects, such as the Phoenix Museum of Art, the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, and the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago.
In conjunction with their 2012 Current Work lecture, an excerpt of which is presented below, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien sat down to discuss their work designing for the arts with Architectural League President Annabelle Selldorf of Selldorf Architects. Their 2009 presentation at the League for the then unbuilt Barnes Foundation is also available below.
Published: November 19, 2012
Three architects discuss designing for the arts
October 24, 2012 | Tod Williams and Billie Tsien | Excerpt from the 2012 Current Work lecture.
The winner of Folly 2015, Torqueing Spheres by IK Studio, is on view at Socrates Sculpture Park. Explore an interview with Mariana Ibañez and Simon Kim, a photo essay on the fabrication, and other notable entries from this year’s competition.
Watch interviews and lectures from the six winners of the 2015 Architectural League Prize: Clark Thenhaus, Erin Besler, First Office, Landing Studio, mcdowellespinosa, and Thom Moran.
Photos and remarks from the dinner honoring Henry N. Cobb as the 2015 recipient of The Architectural League’s highest honor, the President’s Medal.
O’Donnell + Tuomey discuss their vision for Irish architecture, creating mobility in static forms, and bringing the rigors of traditional craft to contemporary work.