Bernard Tschumi | Philosophical Science | Science

Bernard Tschumi


Bernard Tschumi
Bernard Tschumi
Born January 25, 1944 Lausanne, Switzerland

Awards Buildings Limoges Concert Hall

Bernard Tschumi (born January 25, 1944) is an architect, writer, and educator, commonly associated with deconstructivism.

Early life
Son of the well-known architect Jean Tschumi, born of French and Swiss parentage, he works and lives in New York and Paris. He studied in Paris and at ETH in Zurich, where he received his degree in architecture in 1969.

Tschumi has taught at Portsmouth Polytechnic in Portsmouth, UK, the Architectural Association in London, the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York, Princeton University, the Cooper Union in New York and Columbia University where he was Dean of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation from 1988 to 2003. Tschumi is a permanent U.S. resident.

Throughout his career as an architect, theorist, and academic, Bernard Tschumi's work has reevaluated architecture's role in the practice of personal and political freedom. Since the 1970s, Tschumi has argued that there is no fixed relationship between architectural form and the events that take place within it. The ethical and political imperatives that inform his work emphasize the establishment of a proactive architecture which non-hierarchically engages balances of power through programmatic and spatial devices. In Tschumi's theory, architecture's role is not to express an extant social structure, but to function as a tool for questioning that structure and revising it. The experience of the May 1968 uprisings and the activities of the Situationist International oriented Tschumi's approach to design studios and seminars he taught at the Architectural Association in London during the early 1970s. Within that pedagogical context he combined film and literary theory with architecture, expanding on the work of such thinkers as Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault, in order to reexamine architecture's responsibility in reinforcing unquestioned cultural narratives. A big influence on this work were the theories and structural diagramming by the Russian Cinematographer Sergei Eisenstein produced for his own films. Tschumi adapted Eisenstein's diagrammatic methodology in his investigations to exploit the interstitial condition between the elements of which a system is made of: space, event, and movement (or activity). Best exemplified in his own words as, "the football player skates across the battlefield." In this simple statement he was highlighting the dislocation of orientation and any possibility of a singular reading; a common resultant of the post-structuralist project.

as well as visual and formal techniques) challenged the work other contemporary architects were conducting which focused on montage techniques as purely formal strategies. importing notational techniques from experimental dance and musical scores. de-structuring. For example. in contrast to earlier static. In 1978 he published an essay entitled The Pleasure of Architecture in which he used sexual intercourse as a characterizing analogy for architecture. He claimed that architecture by nature is fundamentally useless. He distinguishes between the forming of knowledge and the knowledge of form. event. His use of event montage as a technique for the organization of program (systems of space. which functioned as counter design and critique of the existing architecture culture. contending that architecture is too often dismissed as the latter when it can often be used as the former. began to produce ironic. Tschumi positioned his work to suggest alternatives to this endgame. two dimensional . 1980s-90s Tschumi's winning entry for the 1982 Parc de la Villette Competition in Paris became his first major public work and made possible an implementation of the design research and theory which had been rehearsed in The Manhattan Transcripts and The Screenplays. and movement. Tschumi's work in the later 1970s was refined through courses he taught at The Paul Cejas School of Architecture Building at Florida International University in the Architectural Association and Miami. unrealizable projects such as the 1969 Continuous Monument project. superimposition. Superstudio. spatial and programmatic sequences in the park were used to produce sites of alternative social practice that challenged the expected use values usually reinforced by a large urban park in Paris. one such branch of theoretically oriented architectural postmodernists. by exposing the conventionally defined connections between architectural sequences and the spaces. and second. Tschumi has continued this design agenda in a variety of design competitions and built projects since 1983. He demands a glorification of architectural uselessness in which the chaos of sensuality and the order of purity combine to form structures that evoke the space in which they are built. or the failure of the liberal/leftist dream of successful political and cultural revolution. and using the design process itself to challenge habitual ways of thinking about space. Landscaping. setting it apart from "building". Tschumi used this essay as a precursor to a later eponymous series of writings detailing the so-called limits of architecture. by inventing new associations between space and the events that 'take place' within it through processes of defamiliarization. projects such as The Screenplays (1977) and The Manhattan Transcripts (1981) and evolved from montage techniques taken from film and techniques of the nouveau roman. either through a misunderstanding of post-structuralist thought. programs. and cross programming. suggesting the end of architecture's capacity to effect change on an urban or cultural scale. and movement which produce and reiterate these sequences.Bernard Tschumi 2 This approach unfolded along two lines in his architectural practice: first. Tschumi's work responded as well to prevalent strands of contemporary architectural theory that had reached a point of closure. The 1986 Tokyo National Theater and Opera House project continued the research that Tschumi began in The Manhattan Transcripts. Florida.

Freedom is thus defined by the enhanced range of capacity of this extended body/self in conjunction with an extended self awareness. Tschumi. Studio National des Arts Contemporains. a more subtle and sophisticated regime of defamiliarizations was produced than by aesthetic and symbolic systems of shock. Responding to the absence of ethical structure and the disjunction between use. By arguing that there is no space without event. city mappings and urban designs of the Situationist International. a major aspect of the proposed scheme was a large public running track and sports facility on the roof of the complex. With these projects Tschumi opposed the methods used by architects for centuries to geometrically evaluate facade and plan composition. and the 1995 architecture school at Marne la Vallee. and 1989 Bibliothèque de France competition. in the sense that Deleuze uses the term to propose an emergent ethics that depends on a reevaluation of self/identity and body.Bernard Tschumi representational techniques which delineated the outline of a building but not the intensity of life within it. a negation of pure form or style that had been practiced in the 1989 ZKM Karlsruhe competition project. and horizon. space. he designs conditions for a reinvention of living. In the Bibliothèque de France. The extreme limit-conditions of architectural program became criteria to evaluate a building's capacity to function as a device capable of social organization. France (both completed 1999). focused on the impressive Athenian light and landscape while remaining precise in imagination and sophisticated in form. where a large atrium space punctuated by encapsulated circulation and smaller program episodes developed a more local network of interstitial space. interior and exterior. Tschumi nonetheless aligns his work with Foucault's notion that social structures should be evaluated not according to an a priori notion of good or evil but for their danger to each other. Although his conclusion is that no essentially meaningful relationship exists between a space and the events which occur within it. 3 Present Tschumi's critical understanding of architecture remains at the core of his practice today." a notion informed by the theory. This zone is what Tschumi calls the in-between. Lausanne Bridge city. At a local scale in his 1990 Video Pavilion at Groningen. Tschumi's work is ethologically motivated. and social values by which he characterizes the postmodern condition. The capacity of an overlap of programs to effect a reevaluation of architecture on an urban scale had also been tested in the 1988 Kansai Airport competition. In this way he suggested that habitual routines of daily life could be more effectively challenged by a full spectrum of design tactics ranging from shock to subterfuge: by regulating events. transparent walls and tilted floors produce an intense dislocation of the subject in relation to norms like wall. form. intersecting with upper floors of the library program so that neither the sports program nor the intellectual program could exist without an impact on the other. Tschumi's design research encourages a wide range of narratives and ambiences to emerge and to self organize. Tschumi asks the user to critically reinvent him/herself as a subject. By advocating recombinations of program. won the commission for the New Acropolis Museum in a competition. Through these means architecture becomes a frame for "constructed situations. in Tourcoing. rather than repeating established aesthetic or symbolic conditions of design. In this way. At the urban scale in such projects as the 1992 Le Fresnoy. larger spaces challenge normative program sequence and accepted use. well known for his radical theories on post-structuralist architecture in the 1960s and ’70s. The Le Fresnoy complex accomplishes this by its use of the space between the roofs of existing buildings and an added. and cultural narrative. The museum offers a seemingly placid stance.[1] . France. huge umbrella roof above them which creates an interstitial zone of program on ramps and catwalks.

the Greek mathematician Nikos Salingaros claims that the New Acropolis Museum clashes with the traditional architecture of Athens and continues to unnecessarily threaten historical buildings nearby [2]. 1985. Jan/Feb. D. vol. France (1983–98) Alfred Lerner Hall. Guardian[5] Critic Christopher Hume wrote “Tschumi’s building is impressive and fully engaged. S. London. . 105 Norfolk Street in the Lower East Side of New York City (2007) Limoges Concert Hall. Monograph. n. in "AP" (Architectural Profile). V. CinegramFolie: Le Parc de la Vittette. A. MIT Press. Architectural Association. J. Cincinnati. rather than gratuitously. 1994. Switzerland (2004) Lindner Athletic Center. University of Cincinnati. • 2003. A.Bernard Tschumi 4 Criticism Tschumi's work has been criticized for sacrificing human needs for intellectual purposes. New York. Rouillard. Geneva. • 2003. it’s an elegant and thoughtful building intended to serve the collection it contains – a model of architectural restraint. Florida (2003) Vacheron Constantin Headquarters. but it is not starchitecture.”[6] Buildings Completed • • • • • • • • Parc de la Villette. Princeton Architectural Press. Tschumi Le Fresnoy: Architecture In/Between. Architecture and Disjuctions: Collected Essays 1975-1990. or anything like it. London. Universe. Miami. Gunzleman. Source Books in Architecture. A. Pelissier. Laurie A. Monacelli Press. Agacinski. Cambridge. 1994. 1997. London. dynamic building. if not self-effacement. New York City (1999) New Acropolis Museum. New York. Columbia University. Paris. Most currently. Guiheux. Tschumi.1. B. Athens. Ohio (2006) Blue Condominium. Florida International University. Fleischer.4. Architecture and Disjunction. a Case Vide: la Villette.” Jonathan Glancey. 1999. Event Cities (Praxis). MIT Press. 1987. France (2007) Bibliography • • • • • • • • • 1979. Other critics praised the Museum: Alfred Lerner Hall “It is very contextual and powerfully respectful of the urban fabric of Athens while doing a dance around the ruins. S. 1994.” New York Times critic Nicolai Ouroussoff[4] “A geometrical marvel dedicated to the celebration of antiquity…a purposefully. London.[3] “a quiet work…a building that is both an enlightening meditation on the Parthenon and a mesmerizing work in its own right. (with Todd Gannon. MIT Press. Lavin. Jeffrey Kipnis Damasus A. The Manhattan Transcripts. It is thoroughly 21st-century. Abram. Academy Editions. Greece (2002–08) FIU School of Architecture.” Comments of the AIA Honor Award Jury writing in 2011. Winzen) Bernard Tschumi / Zenith De Rouen. 1996. Rather. Descharrieres. Architecturalmanifestals.

Dominican Republic (completion after 2008) Quotes "Any relationship between a building and its users is one of violence. Monacelli Press. architectmagazine. Alessandra "Interview with Bernard Tschumi" (http://www.The Plan folies_parc_de_la_villette_paris/) • Official site of the Acropolis Museum (http://www. " Modern Ruins (http:/ / www. com/ news/ story/ 31594/ modern-ruins/ ).com/) • Bernard Tschumi Miami School of Architecture Photo Gallery (http://www.critiquethis. • Transform – FOLIES – PARC DE LA VILLETTE ( .us/2009/11/13/ miami-school-of-architecture-by-bernard-tschumi/) • Review of T's design for Parc de la Villette (http://www.gardenvisit. 1-parc-de-la-villette. Guayacanes. Archeo Museum. • 2005. Veronique Descharrieres." Summer 2009. Bernard Tschumi: Conversations with Enrique Walker. [2] http:/ / www. Event-Cities 3 : Concept vs. for any use means the intrusion of a human body into a given space. Context vs. org/ articles7/ SalingarosAthens. June 2005 External links • Official site (http://www. com/ cultural-projects/ new-acropolis-museum--athens--greece. France • Elliptic City: International Financial Center of the Americas. php [3] http:/ / www.Bernard Tschumi • 2004. [7] 5 Proposed • Alesia. Dijon. com/ biography/ bernard_tschumi) Bibliography • Orlandoni. MIT Press.122). orthodoxytoday. Actar. Bernard Tschumi Architects: Virtuael. artinfo. References Notes [1] Kilston. Modern" Tschumi in Architecture and disjunction (2001. com/ cultural-projects/ new-acropolis-museum--athens--greece. architectmagazine. • 2006. The Garden and Landscape Guide (http:/ / www.theplan. Lyra. the intrusion of one order into another.transform-mag. Content.theacropolismuseum. Luca Merlini. aspx-Architect Magazine (http:/ / www. aspx) [7] GardenVisit.

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