Partners: network

Elizabeth Diller, Paul Lewis, Charles Renfro, Ricardo Scofidio

Active 1979-2004

Firm Notes

The New York-based architectural firm of Diller + Scofidio, Architects, became Diller Scofidio + Renfro Architects in 2004.

Prior to 2002, the firm's principals, part of the elite, intellectual circle emanating from Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, became well-known for their highly theoretical approach to design, producing stage sets and performance/installation art until the mid-1990s. This included an installation piece done at the United Artists Pavilion Theatre, San Jose, CA, in 1995. The firm's Slow House (1990), an unbuilt vacation house designed for a site at North Haven, Long Island, typified its untethered stance on design. The firm's capacity to attract tangible commissions began to change after 2000, with its completion of a highly visible remodeling of the Seagram Building's Brasserie Restaurant (2000, originally designed by Philip Johnson in 1958) and a temporary observation deck at the site of the World Trade Center (2001) that made it possible for pedestrians to view the salvage and reconstruction work taking place post-9/11.

Following the completion of its remarkable, photogenic Blur Building for the Swiss EXPO 2002, the firm began its rapid transition to larger commercial and institutional architectural commissions. Its design for the waterside Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA (2006) garnered extensive publicity and acclaim and exponentially increased the firm's audience. While it was long a favorite of the profession's Cambridge-New York-Philadelphia-Princeton design school axis of power, its fame spread to include admirers living elsewhere, including abroad (Rio de Janeiro, Moscow) and Northern and Southern CA. By 2015, the firm of Diller, Scofidio + Renfro had completed three major art-related buildings, the Broad Museum in Los Angeles (2015), McMurty Building for Departments of Art and Art History at Stanford University (2015) and the University of California's Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) #2 (2016).

PCAD id: 1298