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Bernard Tschumi

You questioned the Vitruvian Triad saying that it is nowadays outmoded, promoting what in your opinion are the main elements of architecture: space, event, movement. Why do you think that those three elements are foundamental for architecture and what has made inadequate utilitas, firmitas and venustas?

Vitruvius' definition was brilliant for its time but quite static compared to today's conditions. It was also quite narrow. Architecture is not only about buildings, but also about what happens in them (ie events). Cities generate buildings just as much as buildings generate cities (ie space). And movement today is more important than ever: bodies, vehicles, information and data.

The event shows what happens and, above all, anything that can happen in whatever space, even over every forecast. What kind of unexpected events have happened in your architectures?

Examples are Parc de la Villette's multiple unexpected encounters of everyday life or the School of Architecture at Marne-la-Vallée with some of their “happenings”, mixing art-like installations and a new educational project. An architect designs conditions and should not just condition design. A house where each room leads into another room is different from a house with a corridor leading to separate rooms.

Architecture has had so many changes over time and for sure it will continue this way changing appearance and charateristics. Do you think that space, event and movement in the future will be considered as outmoded and inadequate for the architectures of tomorrow?

Whether three thousand years ago or today, I would say that architecture and social space have always been about space, event and movement. It will continue being so. But just as the economic, social and technological conditions have radically transformed the world over these thousands of years, spaces, events and movements will also evolve with these changing conditions.

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