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Ecole National Supérieure d’Architecture Nationale Paris La Villette

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L’Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris la Villette was created in 1969 under the name of Unité Pédagogique d’Architecture n° 6 (UPA n° 6).  It is a public administrative institution depending on the Ministry of Culture and Communication. It assumes all the missions expected from architecture schools, from initial education in architecture to the exchange of knowledge and practices within the international scientific and cultural community. Since 2006 ENSAPLV has adopted the three-cycle degree structure according to the European model (Bachelor, Master, Doctoral degrees). ENSAPLV also offers the educational framework to issue the accreditation to practise project management (HMNOP) which allows the holder to practise the profession on his own


ENSAPLV is one of the largest schools of architecture in France. In 2011-2012 it counts
2 254 students and among them around one fourth of them being foreign; 214 students are registered in the National Architect’s Diploma conferring Master Degree with 127 students attending the architecture-engineering double honors course, and 211 in HMNOP. 8 500 architects have been educated in ENSAPLV from 1969 to 2006.


Open teaching approach

ENSAPLV aim is to educate future professionals involved in architecture, urban development and space. In order to constitute an adapted preparation for the professional interventions in constant evolution, this education remains open to its scientific, social and cultural dimensions. Tea teaching of the design project, striving towards a solution of various changes occurring in the built environment, land development and landscape, constitutes a major goal in the school curriculum. The scientific content of the program is constantly updated. Its aim is to prepare students to work autonomously as architects fully skilled in design, able to carry our diverse tasks concerning architecture and built environment. The main challenge for ENSAPLV is to make students aware of their future ethical and social responsibilities.


A significant aspect of teaching at ENSAPLV is its openness to human and social sciences and arts including cinema. Besides, ENSAPLV integrates in its curriculum an architecture-engineering double honours course, jointly structured with ESTP a French engineering school allowing the students to be awarded both the Architect’s diploma and the Degree in Engineering.


Multidisciplinary teaching approach

The teaching approach contributes to giving students the ability of mastering a creative synthesis of the knowledge and skills necessary for the accomplishment of the architectural project, as well as to a deeper understanding of the stakes thy will have to face in their professional life, while heightening their awareness of the artistic scope of their future work.


The multidisciplinary dimension of ENSAPLV, as well as its professional and academic qualifications of its academic staff allowed ENSAPLV to develop an important body of intellectual work, either through its five research laboratories or through the building and design practice of its professors, both in France and abroad.



The five laboratories, parts of research units authorized by CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research) are entitled to propose PhD and post-Doctorate :

In total the five laboratories employ about 60 researchers whom through their work and publications contribute to the development of knowledge in the field of architecture, urban planning as well as assisting PhD researchers.




AMP laboratory (le laboratoire Architecture, Milieu & Paysage) – UMR CNRS LAVUE (Laboratoire Architecture, Ville, Urbanisme, Environnement)

The common concern shared by the members of the “Architecture, Milieu, Landscape” research team is to conceive and rethink the works of humanity so that their imprint on the Earth contributes to creating environments which are sustainable, habitable and good to live in. Based upon the area of their individual expertise, members explore the evolution of the relationship between society and environment and its impact upon architectural, urban and artistic spaces, and landscape. Their focus is specificially pluridisciplinary as they examine the intersections and interactions of these spaces in the face of environmental challenges and sustainability issues.

- AMP laboratory,  director : Yann NUSSAUME,

Since the team was created and developed within the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture at Paris La Villette, our work consists of a joint dialogue comprising the theory and practice of architecture, environment and landscape, and spans diverse locations worldwide, in both urbanized and rural areas. The international dimension of these projects is an integral part of its mission.


The goals of the team are as follows:

- (Axis I) raising and confronting philosophical notions and issues on an epistemological level.

- (Axis II) to respond to them with a renewed comprehension, enriched by ancient and modern practices, concerning various methods of intervention on a given territory, notably on an artistic level; also, research and implementation which explores other possible training and interaction methods upon a given space and teaching regarding the project, specifically with regard to taking into account the dictates of landscape, architecture and environment concurrently.

- (Axis III) Deliberation on various types of training regarding landscape in France and abroad – in particular within different schools of architecture – and the effect of this training upon the various professions linked to the conception of spaces.


MAP-MAACC laboratory (Modélisations pour l’Assistance à l’Activité Cognitive de Conception)

The MAACC research teamis a unit of the UMR MAP CNRS 3495 (Modélisations et simulation de l’Architecture et du Paysage). The scientific object of the MAP-MAAC is the computer based aid for architectural design and architectural heritage conservation. We use three complementary approaches for studying this scientific object: cognitive sciences, computer sciences and engineering sciences.


The research program of the MAACC aims to produce:

- knowledge on computer based architectural design aid from a cognition point of view and from a computer science point of view ;

- new computer tools.

 The research program is divided in three axes: cognitive activity of computer based architectural design aid, modeling for early design phases of a project, adapting engineers’ tools for architects. Several projects are currently developed along these axes.

 Cognitive activity of computer based architectural design aid

   - Studying collaborative design work with new computer devices for synchronously sharing documents and freehand annotations.

   - Studying impact of the use of digital tools and digital culture on the contemporary architecture styles.

   - Studying parametric design use in architectural practice and developing pedagogical methods for architects

   - Studying cognitive complexity of computer based design aid


Modeling for early design phases of a project

   - Freehand sketches understanding and 3D reconstruction

   - Decision aid for the design of building with low energy consumption

   - 3D reconstruction of medieval architecture


Adapting tools for engineers to architects

-   Simulation of medieval masonries behavior

-   Non standard form finding from standard elements


 - MAP-MAACC laboratory, director : François GUENA,



-  GERPHAU laboratory (Laboratoire Philosophie Architecture Urbain) – UMR CNRS LAVUE

Research at the GERPHAU connects philosophy to architecture and urbanism. The lab welcomes a multidisciplinary team of researchers coming from various backgrounds: architecture, urban design/planning, philosophy, landscape design, sociology and ecology.


Research activities follow two transversal themes, Dwelling and Representation, and investigate three topics/axes:

- Inhabited Milieux – Thinking, through the larger context of urban ecology and contemporary living, how habitats transform.

- Experience – To bring sense and quality to the relations between people and their environment through the analysis of everyday life and urban conditions.

- Research by Design – Between conceptualization, technical innovation and social experimentation, this research axis aims at formulating the spaces in the making, looking at various scales, from dwelling to territory, and using tools of investigation such as mapping, storytelling, and the observations of spatial productions.


Current researchs aim to elaborate operative concepts in order to approach milieux through various scales, from metropolis to  “object-milieux”.


- GERPHAU laboratory, director :  Chris YOUNES,

LA/A laboratory (Laboratoire Architecture Anthropologie) – UMRCNRS LAVUE

The aim of the Laboratory of Architecture and Anthropology is to investigate the correspondence between place and collective identity, a potent binomial that has become aproblematic formula, which needs to be aggressively redressed. In the context of globalization,can we still insist that different places prefigure specific cultural identities?Or that today distinct identities call for particular places?

Our anthropological practice takes on the city as a whole, considering its real, imaginary, spatial, and temporal dimensions from an interdisciplinary perspective. We approach the city as a complex of realities that span time and space and are continuously re-imagined, projected, rejected, and dreamed about by the people who live there. Urban and architectural forms are therefore the central object of LAA’s analysis.


The research program is divided in three axes :

1/ Representing Contemporary Worlds: Cities andArchitectures in the Face of Globalization

2/ Time in Contemporary Cities

3/ New Methods for Research / Methodology as a Scientific Subject


- LA/A laboratory, director : Alessia de BIASE,



LET laboratory (Laboratoire Espaces Travail) - UMR CNRS LAVUE

The LET is interested in activities of architectural, urban, or landscape design considered as a set of practices which contribute to the definition of projects. Focussing on the actors of design, we are taking into account their relationship with the whole set of those involved in projects, and notably those those projects are made for, as well as with the produced objects or settings. The LET studies the organisation of activities, at an individual as well as collective scale, cooperation, competitions and negotiations which are present in project elaboration, implementation and reception. To stress on the architectural and urban work means to study its actual and thinking frames, the instruments of activity, knowledge and tools, mobilised abilities and action catalogues, as well as the networks and collective sets within which it exists.

LET is interested in activities of architectural, urban, or landscape design considered as a set of practices which contribute to the definition of projects, without limiting ourselves to a priori distinctions as the one opposing “maîtrise d’oeuvre”  to “maîtrise d’ouvrage”, for example. By focusing on the design actors, we take into account the relationships these actors have with the set of circles involved in the projects, notably their consignees, as well as with the produced objects or arrangements. To choose the notion of work means that we are interested in the organisation of activities, in the individual and collective scale, in its components and organisation, in interprofessional cooperations and concurrences, as well as in the negotiations which stand out work relationships when elaborating implementing and taking delivery of projects. To stress on the architectural and urban work means to study its actual and thinking frames, the instruments of activity, knowledge and tools, mobilised abilities and action catalogues, as well as the networks and collective sets within which it exists. It is also questioning the building up of these knowledge and abilities, their capitalisation and their circulation. The work of design is the one of actors inscribed in professional fields which are evolving according to the dynamics of the positioning and building up of professional identities which contribute to organise the relationships between the different project actors and between the various professional fields. But the work of design is more widely inscribed in the economic, social and political field which not only gives rise and receives designer works, but also contributes to shape their activity following conditions.


Key words:

Architecture, urban planning, sociology, workspaces, facilities management, usages, professions in architecture, actors and processes in architectural and urban design, commissioning, prime contracting, images and knowledge.


 - LET laboratory,director : Michael FENKER,


How to get to ENSAPLV

ENSAPLV is located in Paris in the 19th arrondissement, in a former warehouse, at 144 avenue de Flandre, close to Parc de la Villette and Cité des Sciences.

It has also two annexes : the one situated 11 rue de Cambrai 75019 Paris, accomodates the computer centre and the other, situated 118-130 boulevard Jean-Jaurès, 75019 Paris, houses the research laboratories.

ENSAPLV : 144 avenue de Flandre 75019 Paris is 5mn from Metro Corentin Cariou or Crimée. Or Bus 54 and 60.

Ecole National Supérieure d’Architecture Nationale Paris La Villette, local AUSMIP coordinator Prof. Marc Bourdier,

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