Calvin Tsao

Calvin Tsao


Prominent Contemporary Architect

Architect Principal, Tsao & McKown Architects

Calvin Tsao is a recognized and leading voice in contemporary architecture whose work draws from a rigorous engagement with a variety of art forms.

Along with his partner, Zack McKown, Tsao received the 2022 AIANY Medal of Honor, and in 2009 the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Award for Interior Design. In 2012 Tsao was the recipient of Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) Legacy Award. A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, he has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Cooper Union, Syracuse University, and Parsons The New School for Design, lectured at universities and served as guest critic internationally.

Tsao & McKown’s current work includes the reconfiguration of the National Palace Museum of Taipei as well as the addition of an entry pavilion, and in Atlanta, working with a university and their private partner to develop a community of 3,000 residences, half of which are designated to be affordable. Other significant works include the Sunbrella Headquarters in Burlington, NC; Sangha, a prototype community for 5,000 residents and At One Wellness Retreat in Suzhou, China; the renovation of the Jewish Museum permanent collection in New York, Brower Park Library in Brooklyn, Jianfu Pavilion at the Palace Museum in Beijing, Suntec City in Singapore, as well as various residences and product design.

Calvin serves a Board Chair of the American Academy in Rome, and is an active member and President Emeritus of the Architectural League of New York.

Through the Tsao Family Foundation, Calvin endowed the formation of the Real Estate Practicum at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, as well as a Fellowship in intercultural philosophy and a residency for Asian artists and scholars at the American Academy in Rome.


  • University of California, Berkeley / Bachelor
  • Harvard University / Master of Architecture

Areas of Expertise

  • Arts & Entertainment

Boards Joined

  • American Academy in Rome
  • Architectural League of New York

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