Architectural Digest June Issue / Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

This was one of those remarkable photo shoots where I had the opportunity to spend two days with the architect himself. To say Tod Williams is “hands on” would be an understatement in this case. Within minutes upon his arrival Tod was rolling up his sleeves and moved, with the help of the owner, my assistant and myself even the heaviest pieces of furniture to optimize the compositions of the photographs.

Some of the greatest, most accomplished people I have met in my career have been extraordinarily humble, accessible and unpretentious. Qualities I love in people and qualities that make working together exciting. That’s when that Aristotle quote about the “sum of its parts” kicks in: check your ego, collaborate, trust, be open, work hard, all of it with one goal in mind, which in my world means, creating great pictures. Nothing else matters, or let’s say, should matter in the context of a photo shoot. Tod ranks very very high on that list of people (“the great and unpretentious”). There were plenty of distractions and difficulties, but it was probably Tod’s focus and commitment to the shoot that in the end transcended all of it. I am thrilled to see the house finally published. It is beautiful!