Bernard Tschumi: Concept and notation

Internationally renowned architect Bernard Tschumi discusses his decades of work in the field.

November 24, 2014
7:00 p.m.

Bernard Tschumi Architects | Le Parc Zoologique de Paris, Paris, France, 2014. Credit: Iwan Baan

Current Work is a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art.

Bernard Tschumi of Bernard Tschumi Architects will present his work in a public lecture to be followed by a conversation with Anthony Vidler.

Bernard Tschumi’s buildings and theoretical writings have significantly influenced architectural form and discourse for over forty years. A recent comprehensive retrospective of his work at the Pompidou Centre, Paris, provided visitors with a visual, documentary, and experiential survey of his practice. Tschumi’s design for the exhibition reflects his approach to understanding architecture, as he describes in the catalogue Architecture: Concept & Notation, “the art of inventing concepts in space through materials.”

Bernard Tschumi founded his practice in 1983 in Paris after winning the Parc de La Villette competition, his first major commission. He opened Bernard Tschumi Architects based in New York City in 1988, and Bernard Tschumi urbanistes Architectes based in Paris in 2002. Notable works include the New Acropolis Museum, Athens; as well as Le Fresnoy Center for the Contemporary Arts, Tourcoing, France; and the Limoges Concert Hall, Limoges, France. Current work includes Carnal Hall, at Le Rosey, the Swiss boarding school, as well as the Muséoparc Alésia, Alise-Sainte-Reine, France, and the Paris Zoo. Other current projects include the Vacheron Constantin Headquarters addition, Geneva, and the New Hague Passage, The Hague.

Tschumi’s recent book, Architecture Concepts: Red is Not a Color, is a comprehensive collection of his conceptual and built projects. Other publications include The Manhattan TranscriptsArchitecture and Disjunctions: Collected Essays 1975–1990and the four volumes of Event-Cities. His drawings and models are in the collections of several major museums, including MoMA and the Centre Pompidou. Tschumi is a professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation of Columbia University, where he served as dean from 1988–2003.

Recent awards include the National Academy Award for Excellence in 2012 and an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art in 2011. Tschumi was awarded France’s Grand Prix National d’Architecture in 1996, as well as numerous awards from the American Institute of Architects. He is a member of the Collège International de Philosophie and the Académie d’Architecture in France, where he has been the recipient of honors that include the rank of Officer in both the Légion d’Honneur and the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Moderated by Anthony Vidler. Vidler is professor of architecture at The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union, where he formerly served as dean.

This lecture is co-sponsored by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union.


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.