The Piranesi Award, which celebrates its thirteenth edition this year, is an award that aims to give recognition to the excellence in the fields of architecture and archeology. This award is given by the Accademia Adrianea di Architettura e Archeologia in partnership with Rome’s Ordine di Architetti and the Casa dell’Architettura di Roma.
This year’s acknowledgement goes to renowned architect Bernard Tschumi, awarded in a ceremony that took place in Casa dell’Architettura in Rome last friday, under the title of ” Designing Archaeology. Architecture for the Development of Archaeological Heritage“. Previous years’ winner have been Jose Ignacio Linazasoro, Peter Eisenman, David Chipperfield, Guido Canali, and Rafael Moneo.
The event did not just have the privilege of having Bernard Tschumi himself -who taught a short masterclass on one of his most relevant projects, prize-wise: the Museum of the Acropolis, in Athens- but also counted with the interventions by the Vicepresident of di Ordine degli Architetti di Roma, Alessandro Ridolfi, the President of the Technical-Scientific Comitee of Casa dell’Architettura, Alfonso Giancotti, the Director of di Accademia, Pier Federico Caliari, as well as Romolo Martemucci and Luca Basso Peressut.
Bernard Tschumi is one of the most famous contemporary architects, thanks to his outstanding work both in critical practice and building construction. Along with Peter Eisenman and Aldo Rossi, Tschumi has developed an important research in an architectural theory towards the denial of the connection between form, function and representation, supporting architecture’s precise role in the progress of society.
New York and Paris
Bernard Tschumi is widely recognized as one of today’s foremost architects. First known as a theorist, he drew attention to his innovative architectural practice in 1983 when he won the prestigious competition for the Parc de La Villette, a 125-acre cultural park based on activities as much as nature. The intertwiningconcepts of “event” and “movement” in architecture are supported by Tschumi’s belief that architecture is the most important innovation of our time. Tschumi often references other disciplines in his work, such as literature and film, proving that architecture must participate in culture’s polemics and question its foundations.
Since then, he has made a reputation for groundbreaking designs that include the new Acropolis Museum; Le Fresnoy National Studio for the Contemporary Arts; the Vacheron-Constantin Headquarters; The Richard E. Lindner Athletics Center at the University of Cincinnati; two concert halls in Rouen and Limoges, and architecture schools in Marne-la-Vallée, France and Miami, Florida, as well as the Alésia Archaeological Center and Museum among other projects. The office’s versatility extends to infrastructure projects and master plans. Major urban design projects recently executed or in implementation under Tschumi’s leadership include master plans in Beijing, Shenzhen, New York, Montreal, Chartres, Lausanne, and Santo Domingo, with a new city for 40,000 residents. Currently under construction are the Hague Passage and Hotel in the Netherlands, a Philharmonic Hall for Le Rosey, near Geneva, an expansion of the headquarters for Vacheron Constantin, and a major renovation and redesign of the Paris Zoo.
Tschumi was awarded France’s Grand Prix National d’Architecture in 1996 as well as numerous awards from the American Institute of Architects and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. He is also an international fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in England and a member of the Collège International de Philosophie and the Académie d’Architecture in France, where he has been the recipient of distinguished honors that include the rank of Officer in both the Légion d’Honneur and the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Tschumi’s Acropolis Museum was honored as a finalist for European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture in 2011, and an Honor Award from the AIA the same year.
The many books devoted to Tschumi’s writings and architectural practice include a comprehensive monograph, titled Architecture Concepts: Red is Not a Color, narrates Tschumi’s career in work and ideas since the 1970s and was published by Rizzoli in 2012, the four-part Event-Cities series (MIT Press, 1994, 2000, 2005, and 2010); The Manhattan Transcripts (Academy Editions and St. Martin’s Press, 1981 and 1994); Architecture and Disjunction (MIT Press, 1994); and the monograph Tschumi (Universe/Thames and Hudson, English version, and Skira, Italian version, 2003). A series of conversations with the architect has been published by The Monacelli Press under the title Tschumi on Architecture (2006). Other recent publications include a French and English language biography on Tschumi by Gilles de Bure and The New Acropolis Museum, published by Skira / Rizzoli.
A graduate of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Tschumi has taught architecture at a range of institutions including the Architectural Association in London, Princeton University, and The Cooper Union in New York. He was dean of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University from 1988 to 2003 and is currently a professor in the Graduate School of Architecture. Tschumi is a permanent resident of the United States and has French and Swiss citizenship.
Tschumi’s work has been exhibited in solo shows at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam, the Pompidou Center in Paris, as well as other museums and art galleries in the United States and Europe.