Harn selects Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects │ Partners to design new wing

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Harn selects Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects │ Partners to design new wing
Exterior of the Harn Museum of Art.

GAINESVILLE, FLA.- The Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida recently selected Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners to design an estimated 20,000-square-foot addition scheduled for completion in 2024. As the Harn concludes its 30th anniversary year and launches a strategic plan for the next 5 years, the new wing will provide a multi-purpose space for activities that will further fulfill the Harn Museum’s mission to inspire, educate and enrich people’s lives through art.

After an extensive and highly competitive search working with UF Planning, Design and Construction, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners was selected from an applicant pool of 19 architectural firms. They will be tasked with designing an expansion that will include more gallery space for exhibitions and a dedicated gallery space for the Florida Art Collection, which is a recent gift of 1,200 works of Florida-themed art given by Samuel H. and Roberta T. Vickers. Additional areas will include a print study room providing UF students and faculty a place to closely analyze selected works of art that connect with class curriculum, a conservation studio for art care specialists to evaluate and conserve the collection and art storage for the new gift.

“Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners have rich experience in creating dynamic spaces that foster synergy between university students and museum staff,” said Harn Museum of Art Director Lee Anne Chesterfield. “This new addition will not only showcase our collections but facilitate learning, elicit creativity and promote a life-long connection with the arts. We look forward to collaborating with Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners and building the next great chapter of the Harn Museum of Art together.”

Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners is a New York-based studio that was established in 1986. The firm is committed to reflecting the values of non-profit, cultural and academic institutions toward an architecture of enduring vision. The practice is led by partners Tod Williams, Billie Tsien and Paul Schulhof. Some of their notable museum projects include the Phoenix Art Museum, Phase I (1996) and II (2006), Phoenix, AZ; The American Folk Art Museum (2001), New York, NY; The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA (2012); The Asia Society Hong Kong Center, Admiralty, Hong Kong (2013); and the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (2019). Their current work includes the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, the renovation of David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, New York City and the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park, Chicago.

Over the past three decades, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners has been recognized by numerous national and international citations, and in 2013 they were awarded the Architecture Firm Award by the American Institute of Architects. In addition to their studio practice, founding partners Tod Williams and Billie Tsien have also been recognized for their contributions and deep involvement in the broader cultural community. They have received such distinguished honors as the National Medal of Arts from President Obama in 2013 and the 2019 Praemium Imperiale awarded by the Japan Art Association. Billie Tsien was recently appointed by President Biden to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, serving as the first woman and Asian American Chair in its history.

“As we have realized during this difficult period of our lives—what’s local to you is evermore important. The ability of institutions such as the Harn to educate and inspire a community is unmatched. Having taught at the University and spent time in Gainesville—our studio sees this as an opportunity to contribute to the spirit of this special place,” said Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.

The Harn Museum of Art is currently engaged in robust fundraising efforts to secure support for the expansion of the museum as a part of the University of Florida’s capital campaign. This fundraising effort will support the Harn’s ability to impact the lives of every UF student and establish the Harn as a cultural destination on UF’s campus.

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