Sunday, February 26, 2006

Tschumi

Bernard Tshumi
Architect, New York
Dean, Columbia University
Columbia University
February 26, 1997



By Michelle Howard
: bodies in space"




Introduction
Bernard Tschumi is a Swiss born deconstructivist architect. Leading not only through his architecture, he is equally, if not more influential as a writer and academic. He is a permanent US resident, and from 1988-2003, he was Dean of Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
Deconstructivism
As Post-Modernism became increasingly commercialized the public began to expect something new. Post - Modernism surrendered to a consumer mentality it celebrated, and was short-lived as it was displaced by deconstructivism which began with Russian Constructivism in the early twentieth century. Tschumi's work responded as well to a postmodernist architectural theory that was approaching conclusion. He offered an alternative to the prevalent theoretical work that was becoming more unrealizable and extreme, like work from Superstudio, one such branch of theoretically oriented architectural postmodernists. Those projects, which functioned as counter design and critique of the existing Modernism style, suggested the end of architecture's capacity to effect change on an urban or cultural scale because they had lost grounding in the practical and had reached a theoretical extreme. Through the deconstructivist process, Tschumi maintains the theoretical concepts without compromising the practicality and realization of architecture.

The Falling In-Love Machine,
Superstudio


The Guardian,
Superstudio

The basis of deconstructivism includes ideas of fragmentation, non-linear processes of design and experience. Deconstructivism aims to reduce the whole to its elements, then to disassemble in order to reassemble them as a new interpretation of the whole. Deconstructivism is not synonymous with de-structure; instead de-construction it is concerned with critical analysis and reinterpretation. This process of design rejects conventional forms-follows-function uses of space by developing new relationships between systems and narrating theoretical text through an architectural language resulting in interstitial ‘in between’ spaces and semiotic philosophy.
Other deconstructivists include Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Coop Himmelblau, Rem Koolhaas, and Daniel Libeskind.

Musee de Confluence,
Lyon, France
Peter Eisenman and Coop Himmelblau


Walt Disney Concert Hall,
Los Angeles, California
Frank O. Gehry



Aquatic Center,
London, England
Zaha Hadid


Seattle Public Library,
Seattle, Washington
Rem Koolhaas




Freedom Tower and World Trade Center Masterplan,
New York, New York
Daniel Liebeskind

Deconstructivism ideas are borrowed from the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, who explained that his philosophy of deconstruction as a virus that destroys structures, that introduces disorder into communication. By focusing on the primacy of language and text, James Steele considers that Derrida is at odds with the entire semiotic structure of Post-Modernism. Derrida’s influence on Deconstructivism and Tschumi were his ideas of text and words, semiotics, as inevitably ambiguous yet potentially unlimited. Derrida says in Domus Review,
“The fact that this intervention in architecture ... represents the failure or the limitation imposed on a universal language says something about the impossibility of mastering the diversity of languages, about the impossibility of there being a universal translation. This also means that the construction of architecture will always remain labyrinthine. The issue is not to give up one point of view for the sake of another, which would be the only one and absolute, but to see a diversity of possible points of view.”
-Bernard Tschumi

Tschumi’s and Derrida’s philosophies regarding architecture are also that of same ‘deconstructed’ pieces of the whole, those traditional conventional re-organized and re-interpreted elements can be reconstructed in a liberating approach. Tschumi reveals the text of theory through his design process of deconstructivism; it is "part of a research into the dissolving limits of architecture." These are the words he used at the 1988 First International Symposium on Deconstruction in London. In Architectural Disjunction the notion of limits are explored and he refers to the convention of colloquial language as operating within boundaries but poetry as performing at the limits. Still though, architecture needs limits in which to operate which he notes in Architecture and Limits.

Wexner Center For Visual Arts,
Ohio State University
Peter Eisenman



Folly,
Parc de la Villette
Bernard Tschumi



For Eisenman, deconstruction is in understanding "the between" and Derrida’s influence can be seen in his Wexner Center as in Tschumi’s Parc de le Vilette which parallel each other. Tschumi’s Le Fresnoy Art Studio is a succession of boxes inside boxes – the interstitial space holds the energy and becomes a place for event and chance encounter. These paths create collisions of space – overlaps in use, which can be used by students for a variety of functions. The space between the roofs of existing buildings and an added, huge umbrella roof above them creates the interstitial zone of program on ramps and catwalks. In a critique of Eisenman’s Aronoff Center at UC Frank Gehry said, "The best thing about Peter’s buildings is the insane spaces he ends up with. All that other stuff, the philosophy and all, is just bullshit as far as I'm concerned."

Panoramic,
Le Fresnoy Art Studio in Tourcoing, France
Bernard Tschumi


Panoramic,
Le Fresnoy Art Studio in Tourcoing, France
Bernard Tschumi


Event,
Le Fresnoy Art Studio in Tourcoing, France
Bernard Tschumi


Le Fresnoy Art Studio, Event
Tourcoing, France
Bernard Tschumi



Le Fresnoy Art Studio, Event
Tourcoing, France
Bernard Tschumi

Tschumi’s Philosophy
Since the 1970s, Tschumi has argued that there is no fixed relationship between architectural form and the events that take place within it. Rather, he engages balances of power through programmatic and spatial devices. In Tschumi's theory, architecture's role is not to express an existing social structure, but to reinterpret that structure.
His work explores new relationships between form and function through processes of de-equilibrating, de-structuring, super-imposing, and cross-fertilization of program. The new spaces and relationships he creates – those interstitial in-between spaces, are the introduction of a new dimension – the event – which is as fundamental to his design as the influence of philosophers Derrida, Barthe, and Wigley.
In the 1970’s Tschumi taught at the Architectural Association (AA) and developed projects such as The Screenplays (1977), influenced by Finnegan Wake and The Manhattan Transcripts (1981), influenced by James Joyce, that evolved from pastiche techniques taken from film. Tschumi selected key words fundamental for his Manhattan Transcripts and are as follows:
violence
repetition
program
narrative
madness
juxtaposition
frame
event
distortion
disjunction
device
conflict
pleasure
sensation
cinema
photography
reality
deconstruction
combination
articulation
transformation
sequence
notation
reciprocity
relation
movement
classification
disjunction
condition
limits
definition

The Manhattan Transcripts demonstrated a narrative of complexity and trans-architectural philosophic foundations as events marked through cinema/photo-graphy. By arguing that there is no space without event, he designs conditions for a reinvention of living, rather than repeating established aesthetic or symbolic conditions of design. Through these means architecture becomes a frame for "constructed situations," a notion informed by the theory, city mappings and urban designs. By advocating recombinations of program, space, and cultural narrative, Tschumi asks the user to critically reinvent him/herself as a subject.

"In America, it's more difficult because architects have lost a lot of power; power has fallen into the hands of the builders... the general strategy is determined by the client himself... That's a big problem. And that's what we want to avoid,"
-Bernard Tschumi.
Tschumi’s The Pleasure of Architecture defines the relationship of the city center with respect to the periphery as “erotic dimension”, influenced by Barthe’s Semiology and Urbanism. In a 1987 article, Tschumi formulated his revealing idea of pleasure in architecture: "[m]y pleasure has never surfaced in looking at buildings, at the 'great works' of the history or present of architecture, but rather in dismantling them." The Parc de la Villette principle manifests itself in the superimposition of three different ordering systems. The superimposition of these three layers allows for some form of interaction between three autonomous systems. According to Mark Wigley, the superimposition is a "series of ambiguous intersections between systems […] in which the status of ideal forms and traditional composition is challenged. Ideas of purity, perfection, and order, become sources of impurity, imperfection, and disorder". In the case of Parc de la Villette, Tschumi challenges traditional humanist and functionalist architectural discourses. Tschumi’s ideas about ambiguous program and transgressive cross-programmed movements are borrowed from Frankfurt School Marxism.

Parc de la Villette Systems,
Paris, France
Bernard Tshumi
Tschumi also has a strong attitude with respect to poltics and culture and believes architecture is connected to its time’s socio-political climate. In this way, Tschumi's work is ethologically and culturally guided, and is reflected in his sensitivity to the existing urban fabric and history, although there are Neitzschean individualistic undertones. Just as the cohort and zeitgeist evolve and transform, architecture and the view of architecture cannot remain static, but mutate over time.
MOMA Design Competition Entry


Proposed MoMA Expansion, Perspective Along 54th Street
New York, New York
Bernard Tschumi

Carved spaces trace an urban itinerary through the zone driven existing building’s envelopes. This in-between space forms the circulation and links the functions and exhibition spaces required in the proposal. Tschumi has designated that the fixed galleries be placed around the periphery of the Museum, allowing for the best light as well as addressing the logic of construction: The most fixed part of the building is the outer skin and connects the streetscape to the building. Tschumi describes his proposal as an ‘interior city’ with a transparent façade in the sense that it reveals the interior logic of non-program-program, event and interstitial space.
The variable galleries, as required by the competition guidelines, are located at the center, where the construction, principally nonstructural partitions, is the most flexible.


Site Plan
New York, New York
Bernard Tschumi

Tschumi’s entry is also his "Urban Museum Manifesto," where he counters the idea of the new Museum of Modern Art as a self-sufficient totality. Instead he terms it a "heterotopia" that "combines three distinct types on its site: a received type, the 25-foot-square column grid and doubly bay of the historic MoMA . . . ; a borrowed type, the columnless factory type, for its temporary exhibitions; and a new type, our proposal for fixed spaces, variable spaces, and interspaces, for the permanent collection."

Tschumi concisely summarizes his approach to redeveloping the site: "Our aim has been to find the proper 'interlocking' between the old and the new so that the culture of the institution is regenerated into a new urban and spatial type."

The New Acropolis Museum
"It's a museum inside the city, so we would like to be able to combine the most up-to-date technology and ancient materials.
The two main materials are glass and marble. We will also use very beautiful pre-cast concrete. These materials are very respectful of the city of Athens as well as the Acropolis."
-Bernard Tschumi


The New Acropolis Museum, Model
Athens, Greece
Bernard Tschumi

The new Acropolis Museum is located at the southern base of the Acropolis, at the ancient road that led up to the historic "sacred rock".
Set only 800 feet from the legendary Parthenon, the museum will be the most significant building ever erected so close to the ancient temple.


The New Acropolis Museum, Computer Rendering
Athens, Greece
Bernard Tschumi

Bernard Tschumi's winning design for The New Acropolis Museum was chosen from a shortlist of twelve who competed in three competitions. The museum overlooks the Makriyianni excavations. Tschumi has taken great care in exercising historical respect.

The New Acropolis Museum, Computer Rendering
Athens, Greece
Bernard Tschumi

The New Acropolis Museum, Computer Manipulated Image
Athens, Greece
Bernard Tschumi

The New Acropolis Museum, Model
Athens, Greece
Bernard Tschumi

The three primary concepts are light, movement and a programmatic element. First, he uses natural light to showcase the displays through a tensile curtain wall system that simultaneously allows for a visual connection with the acropolis outside those walls. Secondly, circulation and the spatial relationships between them correspond to historical chronology beginning with the archeological excavations below to the Parthenon above. Tschumi narrates histoy’s story and the occupant participates through movement. The middle of the museum features a large double-height trapezoidal form that will house the museums galleries from the Archaic period through the Roman Empire. Above a mezzanine will contain a bar and restaurant with breath-taking views of the Acropolis.

The New Acropolis Museum, Computer Rendering
Athens, Greece
Bernard Tschumi

The upper most spaces, the Parthenon Gallery form a rectangular transparent hall for the Parthenon Marbles in the proper proportions, and orientation of the original monument. The characteristics of this transparent space will provide natural light for the sculpture while being in direct view to and from a precise reference point - the Acropolis. Thus, the Parthenon Marbles would actually be viewable from the Acropolis above though the intended view will be from below.


The New Acropolis Museum, Computer Rendering
Athens, Greece
Bernard Tschumi



The New Acropolis Museum, Computer Rendering
Athens, Greece
Bernard Tschumi


The New Acropolis Museum, Model
Athens, Greece
Bernard Tschumi

University of Cincinnati Athletic Center

Baseball Field and Athletic Center
University of Cincinnati, Ohio
Bernard Tschumi

Here Tschumi takes advantage of the site constraints and extrudes his structure up to five stories. He creates the same interstitial spaces as described above in his Fresnoy Studio – spaces for interaction. The main event is clearly the field, but he intends for it to be shared, as well as the auditorium, classrooms and UC Club. At a larger scale, the building itself serves as a joint between the north and south street entrances.

Baseball Field and Athletic Center, Computer Rendering
University of Cincinnati, Ohio
Bernard Tschumi



Parc de la Villette

Parc de la Villette, Computer Rendering
Paris, France
Bernard Tschumi and Jacques Derrida



Parc de la Villette, Event
Paris, France
Bernard Tschumi and Jacques Derrida


Parc de la Villette, Event
Paris, France
Bernard Tschumi and Jacques Derrida


Derrida...asked me why architects should be interested in his work, since, he observed, "deconstruction is anti-form, anti-hierarchy, anti-structure-the opposite of all that architecture stands for" "Precisely for this reason," was my response.
-Bernard Tschumi

Russian Constructivist, Sketch
Early 20th Century
Chernikov


Parc de la Villette, Folly
Structure and form of ambiguous program Influenced by Russian Constructivism
Bernard Tschumi and Jacques Derrida


Parc de la Villette, Folly
Structure and form of ambiguous program Influenced by Russian Constructivism
Bernard Tschumi and Jacques Derrida


Parc de la Villette, Folly
Paris, France
Bernard Tschumi and Jacques Derrida






Marne School of Architecture

School of Architecture
Marne-la-Vallee
Bernard Tschumi

Tschumi designs the auditorium to be the movement generator as an object within space. Their thesis begin by looking ahead of Ecole de Beaux Arts or Bauhaus influence – toward the future of potential space that accelerates the socio-political transformations already taking place within our culture. Scrupulously programmed spaced are deconstructed to re-program stages for a variety of events. Celebrations, performances, juries, debates and more, will occupy these event spaces.


School of Architecture, Auditorium
Marne-la-Vallee
Bernard Tschumi


School of Architecture, Event Space
Marne-la-Vallee
Bernard Tschumi


K-Polis

K-Polis Department Store
Zurich, Switzerland
Bernard Tschumi

In this competition, Tschumi’s concept is seductive invitation for display. He wants to invite you into the store by making the building an object of desire. He focuses on a tension created between the dynamic nature of the person and the inert quality of the product, or comsumee. In keeping to his design theory, he introduces circulation, a ramp, to activate the building and define areas of use.



Rouen Concert Hall

Concert and Exhibition Halls
Rouen, France
Bernard Tschumi

This project was built on an abandoned airfield and reflects Rouen’s financial growth and cultural development. The two buildings are designed for polyvalency; to accommodate large assemblies and more intimate groups of professionals. An asymmetrical seating arrangement in the concert hall allows for spontaneous interaction.

Lerner Hall Student Center

Columbia University Lerner Hall
New York, New York
Bernard Tschumi

Glass ramps organize program which include a nightclub, a dining hall, a cinema, meeting rooms, rehearsal rooms – all activated by the use of the mailboxes. The ramps themselves are a set stage for impulsive and unprompted performance to take place. A glass façade orchestrates the relationship between the interior exhibition and the public view into the building. Tschumi combined large expanses of glass and masonry treatment prevalent in the original McKim Meade and White master plan.



Columbia University Lerner Hall
New York, New York
Bernard Tschumi











References
• Archipedia, http://www.archpedia.com/Styles-Deconstructivism.html
• Deleuze, Gilles, Foucault, Sean Hand (trans.), Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press (1986)
• Hollier, Denis, Against Architecture, Betsy Wing (trans.), Cambridge, MIT Press (1989)
• www.moma.org, http://www.moma.org/expansion/finalists/tschumi.html
• Nesbit, Kate, Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture, Princeton Architectural Press, NY (1996)
• Sadler, Simon The Situationist City, Cambridge, MIT Press (1998)
• Sadler, Simon An Avante-Garde Academy, Blackwell Publising (2001)
• Salingaros N., Hanson B., Alexander C., Mitiken M., THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES ANTI-ARCHITECTURE AND DECONSTRUCTION, Umbau-Verlag, Architectural Review, 2005-02-01
• Steele, James, ARCHITECTURE TODAY, Phaidon, London, (2001)
• Sullivan, Patricia, Jacques Derrida Dies: Deconstructionist Philosopher, Washington Post, Sunday, October 10, 2004; Page C11
• Tschumi, Bernard, Architecture and Disjunction, Cambridge, MIT Press (1994)
• Tschumi, Bernard, Event-Cities (Praxis), Cambridge, MIT Press (1994)
• Tschumi, Bernard, The Manhattan Transcripts, London, Academy Editions (1994)
• Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

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