École d’architecture
de la ville & des territoires

Teaching strategy

    Our school aims to train architects, professionals able to express and argue their points of view, implement concrete solutions, develop a critical, personal stance towards their practice, and shoulder their ethical and social responsibilities.

    The teaching of architectural design is understood as the set of ideas and principles which constitute architectural knowledge, linking theory and practice and seeking the mastery of a centuries-old culture to engage contemporary responses relevant to preparing for the future. This is why continuity in architecture is emphasised, to provide a better response to something which, within the current climate, is subject to
    the incessant evolution of standards and regulations. The school offers a training programme leading to a degree in Architecture, organised into two cycles: undergraduate (three years) and Master’s (two years). Students can register as soon as they have obtained the Baccalaureate or can join the course following an initial training programme.

    Bachelor’s degree

    The undergraduate degree focuses on the practice of design and on acquiring the basic concepts and tools of the discipline through four complementary areas: history and theory; construction; city planning and landscape design; and representation. It concludes with the production of a thesis, a genuine initiation into research.

    Master's degree

    The Master’s degree allows students to develop critical thinking and a nuanced vision about the discipline. It is organised into four areas of specialisation:

    Architecture & Experience

    The major « Architecture & Experience » proposes a confrontation between a theoretical reflection on the rules guiding the conception of a project and specific conditions of an architectural program.
    The work is nourished beforehand by committed reflection in the context of a seminar. The expected level of complexity is less about the scale or type of program than about the number of levels of meaning involved in the projects.
    Culture and history are mobilized to support precise, articulated responses to the risks of constantly evolving contemporary situations.


    The major « Fragments » questions architecture through its rapport with the Metropolis and to Region. The desired dialogue between geography and architectural idioms, impose changes in scale and viewpoint, assume a certain distance and imply permanent questioning of the project’s thought. This major avoids apparent opposition between metropolitan contingences and architectural discipline and refuses to choose between the quality of the design and the complexity of the process. The hypothesis is that this is possible and that one must nourish and contribute to the other.

    Thinking Material

    The major « Thinking Material » blends with a hypothesis that architecture builds itself. Construction is not limited to the realization of the work, but relies on theoretical knowledge which contributes to developing a project from its materiality. Within the major “Thinking Material” is a program “Structure and Architecture”, in partnership with ParisTech School of Bridges developed for both architecture students and engineering students which will allow to inform architects about the engineering world and will serve to get the respective universes out of their isolation.
    “Structure and Architecture” constitutes added value as a professional. Once they have received their degree, the architects can continue, under certain conditions, their studies at the ParisTech School of Bridges to obtain the title of Engineer.


    The major « Transformation » explores the architectural issues linked to the recycling or repurposing of buildings (building upon the built) and and to rethinking the first vocation of certain sites (empty tract housing zones and other large tracts, dormant zones, industrial no-man’s lands, leftover infrastructure…). This course of study takes the “ScoT facteur 4” [“Scheme for the Coherence of Territories factor of 4” plan to achieve zero carbon emissions] seriously in its ban on urban expansion and explores the conditions for an architecture made with-and no longer on—the current world’s ruins. How to transform must be learned.
    Such transformations open up questioning around architecture-urban relations , construction processes and the economy of construction.
    The teaching is based on the premise that from now on building must be done from what already exists with recycling or re-using what is already there.

    These strands express distinct yet complementary ideological positions. The representations and ideas that underpin them are clearly outlined: this is the best way to allow students to construct their own architectural stance as well as to traverse a series of unique worlds throughout their training. Over these years of study, students come into contact with the professional world through an extended internship. We also allow them to take a gap year to obtain further experience if they wish to do so.

    Following their degree in Architecture, students can obtain their professional licence or continue their studies. Within this framework, we offer two postgraduate training
    programmes, in line with changes in the profession and the challenges of environmental transition in the context of architecture and urban


    Since 2013, the specialised diploma “PoCa PostCarbone”,
    run in partnership with the École des Ponts ParisTech, explores the issue of the impact of buildings and infrastructure on the environment in greater depth.

    The “DSA d’architecte-urbaniste” specialised diploma trains architects and landscapers in urban design and landscape architecture, paying particular attention to littlestudied
    areas which give rise to themes such as risk management, territorial autonomy, agriculture, tourism, and so on.

    Doctorate and research

    Finally, the School welcomes doctoral students into a research team, the Suburban Condition Observatory, which focuses on the research areas of architectural theory, territorial architecture, energy, and – above all – the relationship between these three areas. One of the characteristic features of its activity is the publication of reference
    works, primarily the journal Marnes: documents d’architecture (“Marnes:
    architectural documents”). Research activity is structured as far as possible around the issues taught on the undergraduate, Master’s and postgraduate courses, which feeds teaching in turn.

    All these components function synergistically; they are underpinned by the shared conviction that the theory, history and practice of architectural design offer a precedent by which to envisage the lands of the future and to negotiate the transition imposed
    by current environmental concerns.

    Major events

    The university year is interspersed with events contributing to the goal of openness and engaging with the critical, self-reflective nature of the school. As an example, for the last two years, with the aim of experiencing different teaching approaches, our undergraduate and Master’s students have worked together to produce interdisciplinary reflections on the land, the city and architecture. For ten days, almost 250 students attend one of 10 intensive workshops offered by innovative teaching teams put
    together for the occasion.

    In addition, each year all students and staff from the school gather for a
    public visit to the design workshops which welcome the expertise of figures outside the world of architecture. These discussions allow us to assess our work and so better develop our teaching. Finally, this openness manifests itself in the form of numerous conferences which we organise on key themes in our teaching: social transition, metropolisation, territorial representation, or even the issue of the digital in architecture, which is revolutionising contemporary practice. Our open approach is strengthened by discussions at the international level, and by numerous overseas study trips aimed at enriching our students’ learning.

    The school also participates in developing training linked to architecture, in partnership with the École des Ponts ParisTech, the Université Paris-Est Marne-la-vallée,
    the École des Ingénieurs de la Ville de Paris, and others,
    promoting interdisciplinarity.

    Today, these partnerships are expanding within the framework of an alliance between the engineering schools, research centres and the university on our campus to tackle a scientific project on the sustainable, economical and resilient city, as part of which we seek to promote architecture. In the years to come, beyond the complex object of the city, we will continue to work to transform all regions, whatever their
    nature as products of political, social, cultural and legal circumstances

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