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Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

Location: 222 Central Park South, New York, NY

Number of Employees: 30

T: 212 582 2385

F: 212 245 1984

Firm History:

Tod Williams initially started the firm in 1974, as acting principal. In 1977, he hired Billie Tsien who had just completed her Master in Architecture at UCLA.  This marked the beginning of their cooperative efforts, culminating in their partnership in 1986. As the firm evolved, so did the studio space, which expanded to an open space in 2001 previously occupied by photographers.

The firm has received numerous honors from The American Institute of Architects. Notable works include a dormitory at Princeton, renovations to Spiegel Pool House and for the Qaundt loft in New York City. In 1997, the firm won a National Honor Award for the Neurosciences Institute. In 2001, they received 2 more for a natatorium at Cranbrook School and for a house on Long Island. In 2002, they received the Arup World Architecture award for Best Building in the World for the American Folk Art Museum.

Tod Williams:

Tod Williams was born in Detroit, Michigan during the 40’s. He studied architecture at Princeton for his undergraduate degree and then for his Master in Fine Arts and Architecture. Williams went on to work as an associate with Richard Meier for 6 years before going on to start his own firm in 1974. In 1977, he hired Billie Tsien and the two later began a partnership in 1986.

In addition to his work within the firm, Williams has held visiting professorships at numerous schools of architecture including the Cooper Union, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Virginia.

In 1982 he received an Advanced Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome and in 1992 he was made a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects.

Billie Tsien:

Billie Tsien was born in Ithaca, New York during the late 40’s. She received her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from Yale in 1971 and her Master in Architecture from UCLA in 1977. Tsien’s first job out of school was with Tod Williams and the two later went into a partnership.

Alongside her private practice, Tsien holds a number of other positions within the industry. She is a board member for the Wexnor Prize, the Public Art Fund, the American Academy in Rome, and the Architectural League.

Selected Works:


American Folk Art Museum


Lincoln Center


Desert House


Long Island


Neurosciences Institute

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Written by Paul Hoang

September 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Posted in Architects