PRINT November 2014


Bernard Tschumi’s retrospective

Bernard Tschumi Architects, Acropolis Museum, 2009, Athens. Photo: Peter Mauss/Esto.

“ARCHITECTURE IS the materialization of a concept.” This is just one of many polemical positions that Bernard Tschumi has articulated throughout his forty-year career, and it is the perfect summation of the celebrated architect’s position—capturing his conviction that his discipline is fundamentally about thinking, that building is first and foremost about ideas. But such a statement also leaves the definition of architecture uncertain, contingent on its material realization and on the vagaries of putting ideas into practice. Yet, the paradox is, perhaps, the real force behind Tschumi’s remarkably varied and prolific career. He was, after all, seen during the late 1980s as a quintessential avant-garde architect whose forceful designs encapsulated the crises of the field in that decade and its spread into writing, philosophy, manifestos, and experimental and visionary projects.

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