Bernard Tschumi Architects design buildings, bridges, and plazas that blur the boundaries between art, society, symbol, and function. They are responsible for some of the most staggeringly original and unforgettable — and sometimes controversial — edifices and public projects, both built and imagined, in the modern world. From the 1983 high-profile urban sculptural experiment of Paris’ Parc de la Villette, to the more recent Blue residential tower watching over New York’s Lower East Side, Tschumi’s progressive vision of fractured, expressive architecture embraces new materials, vibrant color, and the element of surprise.
from BERNARD TSCHUMI ARCHITECTS
BLUE Residental Tower: New York, 2004-2007
This residential mid-rise in New York’s Lower East Side presented a major design challenge: how to create an original architectural statement while simultaneously responding to the constraints of the New York City zoning code and to the developer’s commercial requirements? BLUE did not start with a theory or a formal gesture, but took the character of the site as its source, parlaying intricate zoning into angulated form, and form into a pixelated envelope that both projects an architectural statement and blends into the sky, simultaneously respecting and embracing the dynamism of the neighborhood.
Acropolis Museum: Athens, 2001-2009
The challenges of designing the new Acropolis Museum began with the responsibility of housing the most dramatic sculptures of Greek antiquity. The building’s polemical location added further layers of responsibility to the design. Located at the foot of the Acropolis, the site confronted us with sensitive archeological excavations, the presence of the contemporary city and its street grid, and the Parthenon itself, one of the most influential buildings in Western civilization. Combined with a hot climate in an earthquake region, these conditions moved us to design a simple and precise museum with the mathematical and conceptual clarity of ancient Greece.
Rouen Concert Hall and Exhibition Complex: Rouen, 1998-2001
Initiated as a civic tool capable of fostering both the economic expansion and cultural development of the Rouen district in the 21st century, this concert hall and exhibition center are well-located near the entry to Rouen, less than an hour-and-a-half by car from Paris. As seen from National Route 138, the 8,000-seat concert hall, open public space, and new 70,000-square-foot exhibition hall provide a strong contemporary image, a spark of cultural and economic rebirth placed on 70 acres of a site structured by dramatic lighting and a grid of plantings.