Billie Tsien was born in Ithaca, NY and received her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from Yale University and her Master of Architecture degree from UCLA. In 1986 she and Tod Williams founded their New York based architecture firm Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners.
Located in New York City, their studio focuses on work for institutions including schools, museums, and not-for-profits. A sense of rootedness, light, texture, detail, and most of all, experience, are at the heart of what they design. Some of their notable projects include The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, and the Asia Society Center in Hong Kong. They are currently designing The Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. Over the past three decades, they have received numerous national and international citations, including the 2013 Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects and the National Medal of the Arts from President Obama.
Billie is deeply involved in the cultural community and maintains long-standing associations with many organizations devoted to the arts. She is currently President of the Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, and has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, National Academy of Design, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.
In parallel with her practice Billie also maintains an active academic career and lectures worldwide. As both an educator and practitioner, she is deeply committed to making a better world through architecture.