Time magazine names Elizabeth Diller as world's most influential architect
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Time magazine names Elizabeth Diller as world's most influential architect

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Elizabeth Diller has been named the world’s most influential architect in 2018 by Time magazine.

In a citation for the publication’s list of its 100 most influential people, entrepreneur Eli Broad described the American architect as a visionary who “imagines things the rest of us have to see to believe” and “can turn a metaphor into brick and mortar.”

He added: “Maybe it’s because she’s a woman in a male-dominated field, or because she was originally a conceptual artist – along with her partner in art, architecture and life, Ric Scofidio – but whatever the reason, Liz sees opportunities where others see challenges. She can do the impossible.”

Diller has appeared in the Time list before, in 2009, alongside Scofidio. This time, she is named alone and is the only architect to feature.

Speaking about the 2015 collaboration which saw Broad commission Diller and her studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) to create The Broad contemporary art museum in Los Angeles, the philanthropist said: “Liz and the DS+R team had a tricky assignment: build a museum that is iconic, but that doesn’t clash with Disney Hall across the street. They called their design ‘the veil and the vault.’

“The veil – a white, porous overlay – brings diffused light in to meet the art. And the vault, hovering within the building, its contents visible through plate-glass windows, shows visitors the great potential of our collection to keep offering more art and ideas. We thought this was a brilliant concept.”

DS+R are best-known for cultural and leisure projects including the High Line in New York, The Broad in LA and the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

They are currently working on a new home for Brazil’s 50-year-old Museum of Image and Sound (MIS) in Rio; a Centre for Music in the City of London; a museum in Colorado Springs dedicated to the Olympic movement; a 250 hectare eco-tourism hub for Haikou Bay in China’s Hainan province; a multi-year expansion of the Museum of Modern Art in New York; and configurable cultural centre The Shed in the same city’s burgeoning Hudson Yards district.

Last year, Sir David Adjaye was the sole architect to make Time’s annual list, while Bjarke Ingels was recognised in 2016.

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Elizabeth Diller has been named the world’s most influential architect in 2018 by Time magazine.
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