Bernard Tschumi is widely recognized as one of today’s foremost architects. First known as a theorist, he drew attention to his innovative architectural practice in 1983 when he won the prestigious competition for the Parc de la Villette, a 125-acre cultural park based on activities as much as nature. The intertwining concepts of “event” and “movement” in architecture are supported by Tschumi’s belief that architecture is the most important innovation of our time. Tschumi often references other disciplines in his work, such as literature and film, proving that architecture must participate in culture’s polemics and question its foundations.
Since then, he has made a reputation for groundbreaking designs that include the new Acropolis Museum; Le Fresnoy National Studio for the Contemporary Arts; the Vacheron-Constantin Headquarters; the Richard E. Lindner Athletics Center at the University of Cincinnati; two concert halls in Rouen and Limoges, and architecture schools in Marne-la-Vallée, France and Miami, Florida, as well as the Alésia Archaeological Center and Museum among other projects. The office’s versatility extends to infrastructure projects and master plans. Major urban design projects recently executed or in implementation under Tschumi’s leadership include master plans in Beijing, Shenzhen, New York, Montreal, Chartres, Lausanne, and Santo Domingo, with a new city for 40,000 residents. Recently completed are the Hague Passage and Hotel in the Netherlands, a Philharmonic Hall for Le Rosey, near Geneva, an expansion of the headquarters for Vacheron Constantin, and a major renovation and redesign of the Paris Zoo. The 500,000 sf Binhai Science Museum in Tianjin in China opened to the public in 2019. The 75,000 m2 (800,000 sf) Biology-Pharmacy-Chemistry Center for the University of Paris-Saclay opened in 2022, while a 20,000 m2 (215,000 sf) Center for Science and Entrepreneurship is currently under construction near Geneva, to open in 2025.
Tschumi was awarded France’s Grand Prix National d’Architecture in 1996 as well as numerous awards from the American Institute of Architects and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. He is also an international fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in England and a member of the Collège International de Philosophie and the Académie d’Architecture in France, where he has been the recipient of distinguished honors that include the rank of Officer in both the Légion d’Honneur and the Order des Arts et des Lettres. Tschumi’s Acropolis Museum was honored as a finalist for European Union Price for Contemporary Architecture in 2011, and an Honor Award from the AIA the same year.
The many books devoted to Tschumi’s writings and architectural practice include the four-part Event-Cities series (MIT Press, 1994, 2000, 2005, and 2010); The Manhattan Transcripts (Academy Editions and St. Martin’s Press, 1981 and 1994); Architecture and Disjunction (MIT Press, 1994); and the monograph Tschumi (Universe/Thames and Hudson, English version, and Skira, Italian version, 2003). A series of conversations with the architect has been published by The Monacelli Press under the title Tschumi on Architecture (2006). Other recent publications include the bilingual French/English and Chinese/English catalogues documenting Tschumi’s retrospective exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou in Paris (Centre Pompidou Press, 2014) and Power Station of Art in Shanghai (China Academy of Art Press, 2016); Tschumi Parc de la Villette (Artifice, 2014); Notations (Artifice, 2014), as well as Architecture Zoo (Somogy Editions, 2014). The most important and comprehensive documentation on Bernard Tschumi’s oeuvre is Architecture Concepts: Red is Not a Color (Rizzoli 2012), a 776-page volume of texts and images which narrates his career since the 1970s.
A graduate of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Tschumi has taught architecture at a range of institutions including the Architectural Association in London, Princeton University, and the Cooper Union in New York. He is a Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation where he was Dean from 1988 to 2003. Tschumi is a permanent resident of the United States and has French and Swiss citizenship.
Tschumi’s work has been widely exhibited, including at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Venice Biennale, the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam, the Pompidou Center in Paris, as well as art galleries in the United States and Europe. A major retrospective exhibition of Tschumi’s work, first exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, has traveled internationally to the Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel, and to the Power Station of Art in Shanghai.