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Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects: The Latest Architecture and News

The Obama Presidential Center in Chicago to Break Ground in 2021

After 4 years of delay, the groundbreaking of the Obama Presidential Center could happen in August 2021, and preliminary work could start as of April, according to the Chicago Tribune. In fact, former President Barack Obama confirmed yesterday on his Facebook account that "the Obama Presidential Center will break ground in 2021" and construction will most likely take about four years.

Obama Presidential Center. Image Courtesy of The Obama FoundationObama Presidential Center. Image Courtesy of The Obama FoundationObama Presidential Center. Image Courtesy of The Obama FoundationObama Presidential Center. Image Courtesy of The Obama Foundation+ 12

2019’s Biggest Developments in Landscape Architecture

This year showcased how landscape architecture is shaping public life in the built environment. In the first two decades of the 21st century, landscape architects created vibrant resiliency plans, rehabilitation projects, and new urban parks. As these twenty years come to a close, 2019 embodied many larger ideas and trends that will continue to influence the next decade of landscape design.

Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.. Image © Ted BoothMusic Center Plaza, Los Angeles, CA. Image © Tim Street-PorterInnisfree, Milbrook, NY. Image Courtesy of Innisfree FoundationThe rehabilitated Peavey Plaza, Minneapolis, MN. Image © Elizabeth Felicella+ 9

Obama Presidential Center Design Moves Forward as Federal Judge Rejects Lawsuit

The Obama Presidential Center by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and Interactive Design moves forward as a federal judge tossed out the lawsuit against it. The planned $500 million, 20-acre campus faced an initial ruling from a district judge that allowed the lawsuit to proceed and stalled construction for four months. Now U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey stated there will be no halt in construction.

Obama Presidential Center. Image Courtesy of Obama FoundationObama Presidential Center. Image Courtesy of Obama FoundationObama Presidential Center. Image Courtesy of Obama FoundationObama Presidential Center. Image Courtesy of Obama Foundation+ 5

Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects Break Ground on Jewish Theological Seminary Renovation in New York

New York’s Jewish Theological Seminary has officially broken ground on its “21st Century Campus” renovation and expansion, designed by Obama Presidential Library architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.

The full project will comprise a new resident hall, conference facilities, an auditorium/performing arts space, and a state-of-art library containing the world’s largest collection of Judaic and Hebraic books, manuscripts and scrolls. Advanced educational technology will be featured throughout.

via Jewish Theological Seminaryvia Jewish Theological Seminaryvia Jewish Theological Seminaryvia Jewish Theological Seminary+ 6

Obama Foundation Unveils TWBTA-Designed Obama Presidential Center

The Obama Foundation today unveiled the design of former President Barack Obama’s Presidential Center, reports The Chicago Tribune. Designed by Todd Williams Billie Tsien Architects, the center’s design comprises three buildings. At the north of the site, the tallest building will contain the center’s museum, while buildings to the south will house a library, auditorium, and restaurant, arranged around a public garden.

Conceptual Site Model. Image Courtesy of Obama FoundationConceptual Site Plan. Image Courtesy of Obama FoundationContextual Site Plan. Image Courtesy of Obama FoundationAerial Shot of the Existing Site. Image Courtesy of Obama Foundation+ 5

Tod Williams + Billie Tsien Win 2017 LongHouse Award, Discuss Design Ideas for Obama Presidential Library

Tod Williams and Billie Tsien have been selected of the recipients of the 2017 LongHouse Award for their “for their outstanding body of work in architecture.”

At Wednesday evening’s ceremony, the husband-wife team opened up about the conceptual ideas driving their yet-to-be-revealed design for the Obama Presidential Library. In a lively discussion with Vanity Fair architecture critic Paul Goldberger, the architects revealed the nature of their working relationship with the President and First Lady, and how their upcoming library may draw from what TWBT learned in designing the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

Studio Gang, SANAA Among Winners of 2017 AIA Institute Honor Awards

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) have named 18 architectural and interior projects as recipients of the 2017 Institute Honor Awards, the profession’s highest recognition for excellence in design.

According to the AIA, “the 2017 Architecture program celebrates the best contemporary architecture regardless of budget, size, style, or type. These stunning projects show the world the range of outstanding work architects create and highlight the many ways buildings and spaces can improve our lives.”

The awarded projects were selected from nearly 700 submissions. The winners will be honored at the 2017 AIA National Convention in Orlando.

Peter Zumthor Selected to Design Beyeler Foundation Expansion

The office of Peter Zumthor has been selected to design an expansion to the Beyeler Foundation, located just outside Zumthor’s childhood home of Basel, Switzerland. The Swiss architect was chosen from a prestigious shortlist of 11 firms to add to the existing museum building, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and completed in 1997.

“The sky above Basel, the city and its surroundings–those are the landscapes of my youth,” said Zumthor. “It is heart-warming to be able to design a major building here.”

Obamas Select South Chicago Site for Presidential Library

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have selected Chicago's historic Jackson Park as the site of the Obama Presidential Library, the Chicago Tribune has reported. The park is located in Chicago’s South Side, the first lady’s childhood home and where Obama was first elected to office. Located at the eastern edge of the University of Chicago campus, Jackson Park beat out nearby Washington Park for the honor of becoming the library’s home. The design commission was awarded to Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects earlier this month.

Barack Obama Presidential Center Selects Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

The Obama Foundation has selected Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA) with partner Interactive Design Architects (IDEA) to lead the design of the Obama Presidential Center for Chicago's South Side. Chosen from a shortlist including Diller Scofidio + Renfro, John Ronan Architects, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, SHoP Architects, Snøhetta and Adjaye Associates, TWBTA stood out for their “commitment to explore the best ways of creating an innovative center for action that inspires communities and individuals to take on our biggest challenges.”

Adjaye Among 7 Asked to Submit Proposals for Barack Obama Presidential Center

Confirming the speculation, Adjaye Associates has been asked alongside six others to submit design proposals for the Barack Obama Presidential Center planned for Chicago's South Side. Diller Scofidio + Renfro, John Ronan Architects, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, SHoP Architects, Snøhetta and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects complete the list; all are expected to provide designs for both considered sites - Jackson Park and Washington Park.

“These finalists offer a variety of backgrounds and styles, and any one of them would be an excellent choice,” Obama Foundation chairman Martin Nesbitt, according to CBS Chicago. “We are excited to see this process moving forward because the Obama Presidential Center will be so much more than a library – this facility will seek to inspire citizens across the globe to better their communities, their countries, and their world.”

Steven Holl, Tod Williams and More Reflect on the Importance of the Emerging Voices Award

Every year, the Architectural League of New York honors the rising stars of architecture with the Emerging Voices Award, a title offered only to the most promising professionals. Long known as a predictor of long-term career success, the award has been given to architects who have later become some of the best in the world, including Steven Holl, Toshiko Mori, and Tod Williams. For a recent article entitled 10 Emerging Voices Winners on the Program's Lasting Influence, Metropolis Magazine asked some of the award's most illustrious winners to discuss how their trajectories were changed by the award, and how they changed architecture.

Watch Now: Cool Spaces! First Full Episode Online Features North America's "Art Spaces"

Cool Spaces! The Best New Architecture has released their first full episode online. The PBS television series, hosted by Boston-based architect and professor Stephen Chung, AIA, profiles the most provocative and innovative public space architecture in North America. With the general public as its targeted audience, each hour-long episode is organized around a central theme - such as Art Spaces - and profiles three buildings. In this episode, Chung discusses what makes Tod Williams Billie Tsien’s Barnes Foundation, Steven Holl's Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and Phil Freelon's Harvey B. Gantt Center so cool.

“People often ask me what Cool Spaces is all about. And I never can answer without giving a bit of background,” says host Stephen Chung. “You see, it really begins over seven years ago, during the recession, which decimated the architecture profession. In a four-year span, approximately 30% of all architecture jobs in the U.S. were lost — including my own. This time away from practice allowed me to reflect on the profession and its problems and to think about what role I might play in bringing about some positive change."

Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Awarded National Medal of Arts

Tod Williams and Billie Tsien have been awarded the National Medal for Arts by the National Endowment for the Arts. The duo, known for projects such as the Barnes Foundation and for the controversy surrounding the demolition of their 2001 American Folk Art Museum last year, will be rewarded for their "deliberate and inspired designs" as well as their services in teaching. The medals will be awarded to them by President Obama in a ceremony on July 28th. Also receiving a medal will be Johnpaul Jones of Seattle firm Jones & Jones, who will be the first Architect to receive the National Humanities Medal in the Award's 17-year history. Find out more about the awards at World-Architects.

Tod Williams & Billie Tsien Selected for New UCSC Institute of Arts and Sciences

The University of California, Santa Cruz have selected Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects to design their new Institute of the Arts and Sciences building, a 30,000 square foot building containing exhibition spaces, seminar rooms, studios and offices, a café, and ample public gathering areas.

Set into a natural landscape of redwood trees and with views over Monterey Bay, Williams & Tsien's building avoids monumental or sculptural gestures, instead creating a dialogue with the site, with a series of paths, bridges and open spaces criss-crossing the site to provide a rich network of spaces.

More on the design after the break.

Concept Model. Image © Tod Williams Billie Tsien ArchitectsArrival in Meadow Plaza. Image © Tod Williams Billie Tsien ArchitectsView through the redwood trees toward the Institute. Image © Tod Williams Billie Tsien ArchitectsView from Pedestrian Bridge towards the Institute. Image © Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects+ 4

Tod Williams Devastated Over Folk Art Museum's Fate

Tod Williams has broke his silence in his first interview since the Museum of Modern Art announced their decision to raze the former Folk Art Museum, expressing devastation that the building will be “reduced to a memory.”

“Yes, all buildings one day will turn to dust, but this building could have been reused,” Tod Williams. “Unfortunately, the imagination and the will were not there.”

Though MoMA has promised to preserve the building’s iconic copper-bronze facade, Williams is concerned it will forever stay in storage.

Proposals are being suggested on how to resurrect the facade, as the New York Times reported, including a concept from Nina Libeskind, chief operating officer of Studio Daniel Libeskind, and AIA New York executive director Fredric M. Bell that will be presented to MoMA next week. However, Williams expressed disinterest at the idea of installing fragments of the building elsewhere.

Three Shortlisted to Design New UCSC Art and Science Institute

UPDATE: Three teams have been selected to move forward in the competition: Allied Works Architecture (Portland/New York), Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (New York), and the team of Patkau Architects (Vancouver, B.C.) and Fong & Chan Architects (San Francisco). The finalists will present their proposals April 3 and a winner will be announced shortly after.

Seven high-profile teams have been shortlisted to design a new research, museum and performing arts center for the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Planned for a stunning site overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the $32 million project is intended to be “an innovative educational experiment” that will “blur the lines between disciplines to beautiful effect.” The shortlist ranges from Steven Holl to Tod Williams Billies Tsien. The complete list of competitors, after the break.

MoMA to Preserve Folk Art Facade

Though it has been confirmed that Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Museum of Modern Art expansion will result in the demise of Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects' American Folk Art Museum, the New York Times has confirmed that the beloved copper-bronze facade will be preserved.

“We will take the facade down, piece by piece, and we will store it,” Glenn D. Lowry, the director of the Museum of Modern Art, said in an interview. “We have made no decision about what happens subsequently, other than the fact that we’ll have it and it will be preserved.”