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Bernard Tschumi

Saturday, October 22, 2016

4:49 PM

1. No architecture without events, actions or activities.

2. "form follows fiction"
3. Parc de La Villette - he became a prominent architect after this project. Read about the
design process for it.


1. Big influence on his work was the theories and structural diagramming of the Russian
cinematographer Sergei Eisenstein. Tschumi adapted these diagrams to exploit the
interstitial (space between structures or objects) relationship between the elements of
which a system is made of: space, event and movement.
a. This theory was applied in two ways in his architecture:
i. Exposing the conventionally defined connections between architectural
sequences and spaces, programs and movement.
ii. Inventing new associations between space and the events that take place
within it through the processes of refamiliarization, de-structuring,
superimposition and cross programming.
2. He frequently studied the work of Alfred Hitchcock - like Psycho.
3. His use of film comes from his interest in sequences and programmatic concerns.
a. "rather than composing fictional events or sequences, it seemed more informative to
act upon existing ones."
4. The film conventions like flashbacks, crosscutting, jump cuts, dissolves and other editing
devices provided a rich set of analogies to the time and space nature of architecture.
5. The concerns of the screenplays were essentially architectural:
a. Material (generators of form, abstraction, movement, events etc.)
b. Device (disjunction, distortion, repetition, superimposition)
c. Counterpoint (movement and space, events, spaces etc.)
6. The transcripts tried to offer a different reading of architecture in which space, movement
and events were independent, yet stood in a new relation to one another. The
conventional components of architecture were broken down and rebuilt along different
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conventional components of architecture were broken down and rebuilt along different
1. Often integration of linear and curvature forms
2. Primary basis for design is the grid, horizontal, vertical, angled, straight
3. Grids are usually conceived from the site or surrounding city
4. Incorporates the urbanistic and naturalistic qualities of the site to create a modernist
quality in his designs.
5. The linear characteristics of the designs are usually accompanied by those of curved or
organic ones.
6. Combines urbanistic and naturalistic qualities of the site in his building designs to create
modernist qualities. (either or vs this and that approach)
7. His designs integrate into the site in the way that they work functionality and visually
portray his design intentions.
8. Derives to the elements of his design forms from:
a. The existing layout of an urban fabric
b. Existing cyclical patterns
i. Vehicular
ii. Pedestrian
iii. Sun/shadow
iv. Land/building use
c. Linear connections to relevant city features
i. Parks
ii. Museums
iii. Monuments
d. Typographical patterns on building site
9. "architecture is not knowledge of form, but rather form of knowledge"
10. We as architects need to ask ourselves what architecture is. Architecture is not a pregiven thing. We architects always think that we define spaces by using walls, but to define
also means to provide a definition or meaning. As architects, we need to constantly define
and redefine what architecture is.
11. The park's design has three main elements:
a. Points
b. Lines
c. Surfaces
Always start with a question - Bernard Tscumi

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