During the 1970s, through drawings and written texts, Bernard Tschumi insisted that there is no architecture without event
s, without actions or activity. His early work recognized that buildings respond to and intensify the activities that occur within them, and that event
s 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 event
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 event
s, and more. La Villette’s popular success (its annual attendance far exceeds EuroDisney’s) is matched by the program
matic 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 500,00sf Binhai Science Museum in Tianjin, China (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.