ALL THAT IS SOLID
Projects presented: American Folk Art Museum, the Barnes Foundation, and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment at Princeton University.
Billie Tsien was born in Ithaca, NY and received her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from Yale University and Master of Architecture degree from UCLA. She began working with Tod Williams in 1977. Together, they founded their architectural practice in 1986.
Located in New York, their studio focuses on work for institutions including schools, museums, and not-for- profits—organizations and people who value issues of aspiration and meaning, and timelessness and beauty. Their buildings are carefully made and useful in ways that speak to both efficiency and the spirit. A sense of rootedness, light, texture, detail, and most of all experience, are at the heart of what they build.
Over the past three decades, Tod and Billie have received more than two dozen awards from the American Institute of Architects as well as numerous national and international citations. Most recently, they received the 2013 National Medal of the Arts from President Obama, 2013 Firm of the Year Award from the American Institute of Architects, and 2014 International Fellowship from the Royal Institute of British Architects. Additional recognition includes the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Brunner Award, Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award, Municipal Art Society’s Brendan Gill Prize, New York City AIA Medal of Honor, and Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture. In 2016, their studio was selected to design the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago.
Outside the studio, Tod and Billie are devoted participants in the cultural community and have long-standing associations with many arts organizations. Billie is the current President of the Architecture League of New York; Tod currently serves as a Senior Trustee of the Cranbrook Educational Community. Both are Fellows of the American Academy in Rome, and have been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, National Academy, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In parallel with their practice, Tod and Billie maintain an active academic career and lecture worldwide. At various times, they have taught at the Cooper Union, Harvard University, Cornell University, University of Texas, City College of New York, and Yale University. As both educators and practitioners, they are deeply committed to making a better world through architecture.