Billie Tsien: Inside Out
Three projects that start from the inside.
All of our our work is based on a set of beliefs that have developed over time. So all work starts inside ourselves.
All of our work is based on the experience of the user, so our design starts inside a room.
All of our work is set inside a site—so we believe that work is inside, not on top of, the ground plane.
About Billie Tsien
Billie Tsien was born in Ithaca, NY and received her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from Yale University and her Master of Architecture degree from UCLA. She began working with Tod Williams in 1977. Together, they established their architectural practice Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners 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, 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. 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 Architectural League of New York and a Director of the Public Art Fund. She and Tod are both 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 her practice,
Billie maintains an active academic career and lectures worldwide. At various times, she has 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.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama recently chose Billie Tsien and Tod Williams as the architects to design their upcoming Obama Presidential Center in Chicago.