During the 1970s, through drawings and written texts, Bernard Tschumi insisted that there is no architecture without events, without actions or activity. His early work recognized that buildings respond to and intensify the activities that occur within them, and that events alter and creatively extend the structures that contain them. In other words, architecture is not defined by its “formal” container, but rather by its combinations of spaces, movements, and events.

This research was put in practice in 1983 with the commission to design the 125-acre Parc de la Villette. The project’s brief became the starting point for a new “cultural” park based on activity rather than nature, one whose many buildings, gardens, bridges, and fields would serve as sites for concerts, exhibitions, sporting events, and more. La Villette’s popular success (its annual attendance far exceeds EuroDisney’s) is matched by the programmatic changes it fosters, as when its green playing fields are transformed into a 3,000-seat outdoor cinema on summer nights, dramatically altering the site.

Completed projects by the office, in addition to the Parc de la Villette, include Le Fresnoy National Studio for Contemporary Arts in Tourcoing, France (1997); Columbia University’s Lerner Hall Student Center in New York (1999); Marne-la-Vallée School of Architecture in Paris (1999); the Interface Flon, a bus, train, and subway station and pedestrian bridge in Lausanne, Switzerland (2001); an 8,000-person Concert Hall and Exhibition Complex in Rouen, France (2001); the Florida International University School of Architecture in Miami, Florida (2003); the Vacheron-Constantin Headquarters in Geneva (2004); the University of Cincinnati’s Richard E. Lindner Athletics Center in Cincinnati, Ohio (2006); the Limoges Concert Hall in Limoges, France (2007); BLUE, a 17-story residential tower on the Lower East Side of New York (2007); the ECAL School of Art and Design in Lausanne, Switzerland (2007); the Acropolis Museum in Athens (2009); the Alesia Archeological Museum in France (2012), the Paris Zoo (2014), and the Exploratorium, a 400,00sf Museum of Industry and the City, in Tianjin, China.

Several partners and associates assist Bernard Tschumi, in particular, Véronique Descharrières in Paris (BTuA) Joel Rutten in New York (BTA), and Neo Zhong in Shanghai.