Tod Williams and Billie Tsien

2018 Medalist

Tod Williams and Billie Tsien

The Kanter Tritsch Medal for Excellence in Architecture and Environmental Design

Tod Williams and Billie Tsien began working together in 1977 and founded their architectural practice in 1986 in New York City. Over the past three decades, they have crafted a body of work varied in scale, type, program, and location. With a range of civic, institutional, educational, and private clients in the United States and abroad, the firm is best known for its institutional projects—in particular, museums, schools, and non-profit organizations. In parallel with their practice, Williams and Tsien have lectured widely and taught at a number of universities such as The Cooper Union, Harvard, Cornell, UT Austin, and Yale. In 1986, they were visiting professors in the Department of Architecture at Penn.

Williams and Tsien’s built New York projects include the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center (2009), New York, and the LeFrak Center at Lakeside (2013), Brooklyn, both of which earned LEED Gold status. In Philadelphia, they designed the Barnes Foundation (2012), the first major art and education institution in the country to achieve LEED Platinum—the highest level of environmental certification from the U.S. Green Building Council; and Skirkanich Hall (2006), which houses the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Their firm is designing the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. 

The jury for the Kanter Tritsch Medal included Winka Dubbeldam, Miller Professor and chair of Weitzman Architecture, Lori Kanter Tritsch, Weitzman alumna and overseer, A. Eugene Kohn, co-founder and chairman, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and Weitzman alumnus and overseer, Weitzman Dean and Paley Professor Frederick Steiner, and Marion Weiss, Graham Chair Professor of Architecture, Weitzman School, and co-founder, WEISS/MANFREDI.

  • Tod Williams and Billie Tsien
    Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia (Photo ©Michael Moran / Otto)
  • Tod Williams and Billie Tsien
    Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia (Photo ©Michael Moran / Otto)