We are pleased to announce that New York firm Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners has been selected to re-envision and expand our facilities. The firm was selected as part of a rigorous international search that began a year ago with more than sixty firms.
“Meijer Gardens has grown tremendously since opening in 1995 and has become Michigan’s leading cultural destination, welcoming visitors from across the nation and internationally. In 2015, 776,928 people chose to visit the park,” said David Hooker, President and CEO of Meijer Gardens. “We are excited to draw upon Tod and Billie’s creative vision and talent and work with them on this exciting project. Their unique perspective will further enhance our mission and dramatically improve our guest experience.”
Well-known for their masterful design of the iconic Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia and, most recently, the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment at Princeton University, Williams and Tsien see architecture as “an act of profound optimism.”
They have discovered a similar spirit in Meijer Garden’s unique marriage of beautiful art and inspiring green spaces. “We are deeply honored to be have been selected by Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park for this special project,” said Williams and Tsien. “From our very first visit, we were struck by the incredible quality of the sculpture collection and its sensitive installation throughout the grounds, as well as by their magnificent new Japanese Garden. We saw that the place and the people here are unique.”
Williams and Tsien are currently studying Meijer Gardens’ organization and mission in the context of providing a peerless visitor experience. The design effort is focused on advancing the organization’s unique mission of horticulture and sculpture, honoring its donors, and maintaining its commitment to accessibility, diversity, and the environment.
Tod Williams and Billie Tsien have been working together since 1977 and founded their architectural practice in 1986. Located in New York, their studio focuses on work for institutions including schools, museums, and not-for-profits—organizations and people who value issues of aspiration and meaning, timelessness and beauty. Their buildings are carefully made from the inside out to be functional in ways that speak to both efficiency and the spirit. A sense of rootedness, light, texture, detail, and most of all, experience, are at the heart of what they design. Over the past three decades they have received more than two dozen awards from the American Institute of Architects, as well as numerous national and international citations. Outside the studio, Tod and Billie are devoted participants in the cultural community and have long-standing associations with many arts organizations. They maintain active academic careers and lecture worldwide. As both educators and practitioners, they are deeply committed to making a better world through architecture.