Diller Scofidio + Renfro has been announced the winner of the 2019 Royal Academy Architecture Prize, an award given annually by the British arts body to recognize firms or individuals who have been "instrumental in shaping the discussion, collection, or production of architecture in the broadest sense."
Though February has hardly even begun, 2019 is already shaping up to be a banner year for the New York-based practice. At the Hudson Yards megadevelopment, 15 Hudson Yards has already topped out and performance-venue The Shed is soon to open. Their renovation and expansion of MoMA will also open later this year. The firm also recently released its vision for the London Centre for Music, a world-class arts venue to be attached to the Barbican.
"Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio's interdisciplinary work has expanded architectural ideas and urban culture," said the Royal Academy jury in a press statement. "They consistently demonstrate how buildings can enhance cities and capture the public imagination."
- MoMA Releases Opening Date and New Images of Major Diller Scofidio + Renfro Expansion
- Diller Scofidio + Renfro Reveal New London Centre for Music
Perhaps no project exemplifies the success of the practice better than the Highline, an elevated linear park in New York's Lower West Side that has spurred countless copies worldwide and become a typology unto itself. In 2018 the park was also the site of The Mile Long Opera, a performance art piece designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro that saw 1,000 singers from across New York tell their stories of life in the ever-changing city.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro was founded in 1981 and rose to prominence through experimental and provocative projects such as the Blur installation at the 2002 Swiss Expo and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in Boston. Among architecture aficionados, they are also known for provocative unbuilt works such as The Slow House and the Eyebeam Museum of Art and Technology.
"Making Problems is More Fun; Solving Problems is Too Easy": Liz Diller and Ricardo Scofidio of Diller Scofidio + Renfro
It is so refreshing to hear the words: "We do everything differently. We think differently. We are still not a part of any system or any group." In the following excerpt of my recent conversation with Liz Diller and Ric Scofidio at their busy New York studio we discussed conventions that so many architects accept and embrace, and how to tear them apart in order to reinvent architecture yet again.