When Barack Obama was announced victorious in the 2008 presidential election—the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office—he told the crowd of tens of thousands gathered in Chicago’s Grant Park, “This is your victory.”
Over several decades of designing together, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien have steadfastly emphasized the serene and assured manipulation of spaces, planes, and materials, and exhibited an impeccable sense of craft.
There is a good deal to admire about the architecture of the new Barnes Foundation, which opened May 19 on Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway, just down the road from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The sober, handsome, and exquisitely detailed museum, designed by the increasingly busy New York City architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, offers a rare combination of material richness and spatial ingenuity.
Of the three new buildings that compose Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s Center for the Advancement of Public Action (CAPA) at Bennington College in Vermont, it is the program-less “Lens” that best represents the iconoclastic institution where students have been designing their own curricula since 1932.
Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, the husband-and-wife team based in New York City, bested a who’s-who roster of competitors to design a new arts center for the University of Chicago, the school announced last week.