We see architecture as an act of profound optimism. Its foundation lies in believing that it is possible to make places on the earth that can give a sense of grace to life—and in believing that it matters.
—Tod Williams and Billie Tsien
The New York City studio of Tod Williams Billie Tsien and Associates has built a practice based on a search for certain qualities: an architecture of serenity, a balance of logic and intuition, the primacy of perception over theory, the connection of a building to its site, the strength of restraint, and the importance of the space "between." Work Life: Tod Williams Billie Tsien, the first monograph published on the architects' work, presents photographic portfolios of ten recent works, including the masterful "scientific monastery" of the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, California; the sculptural forms of the Phoenix Art Museum; the complex of seven buildings that make up New College at the University of Virginia; and two buildings at the Emma Willard School in Troy, New York. Two sections of the book are devoted to early and in-progress work. The final essay, "Who We Are," is a personal exploration of not only the architecture but also the architects.