STM-ARC-AI-08-Projet d'architecture 4

  • ue-a-stm-arc-ai-08
  • Génie Civil

Semestre : 9

Responsable(s) du contenu pédagogique
  • Christelle GRESS
  • Alexandre GRUTTER
Total coefficients : 3
Total heures : 34,5 (4,5 cours, 30 projet)
Total heures travail personnel : 33


The students are supposed to have the following skills obtained during the past 3 years of Architectural Studies:

- Capacities of understanding a place (character, physical and human environment,...).
- Basic notions of English (since the studio is held in English).
- Mastery of different urban scales (1:5000 / 1:1000 / 1:500) and temporalities.
- Notions of landscape design.
- Good knowledge of Collaborative Design Engineering Practices.
- Abilities on conceiving the organization and the layout of a simple program to, at least, two components (housing (s) + small collective equipment).
- Very good knowledge on design and representation, in 2D and 3D, of an architectural project composed of several levels.
- Understanding of conventions and means of representation in drawings (plans, sections, elevations) and models.
- Mastery of building scales from architectural design to building elements' details (1:200 / 1:100 / 1:50 / 1:20 / 1:10 and 1:5)
- Work on elevations.
- Work on materiality.
- Work on the structure.
- Graphic communication skills.


The fourth year Architectural Design Studio runs for two semesters, and it addresses the theme of "climatic heterotopia" in different architectural scales.

The objective of the present module is the development of the perception of architecture as a specific discipline that deals with the treatment of space, mobilizing a variety of different disciplines and engineering practices. The student after attending the architectural design sessions is capable to:

- consolidate essential to the project's practice methodologies.
- enrich her/his architectural culture.
- initiate a critical reflection on architecture and its relations with society and engineering disciplines (applied thermal engineering and civil engineering).
- develop sensitivity, creativity, innovativeness and the spirit of discernment.
- obtain a gradual acquisition of autonomy.
- improve her/his English level (since English is the teaching language of this design studio).

This first semester Architectural Design Studio consists of two projects, each intended to develop key skills and methods for a specific subdomain of architectural, urban and landscape design. Working on a variety of scales and temporalities the projects are cumulatively intended to give each student foundational architectural urban and landscape design skills promoting a collaborative spirit among a cohort with diverse technical, experiential and cultural backgrounds. Both projects are intended to prepare students for the spring semester where the studio focus on the first semester's outputs expanding the development of the first semester's projects on the building scale through collaborative architectural and engineering design practices.


The present architectural design studio deals with the philosophical and epistemological notion of "heterotopy" (or "heterotopia"), which is seen here as the key concept for developing in both architectural and urban scale innovative "climatically heterotopical" spaces developing in an alternative way urban farm activities (in the vertical and horizontal direction).

The notion of heterotopy

In evolutionnary sciences, heterotopy is an evolutionary change in the spatial arrangement of a subject's development, complementary to heterochrony that consists, a change to the rate or timing of a development process. In philosophy, heterotopia is a concept elaborated by philosopher Michel Foucault to describe certain cultural, institutional and discursive spaces that are somehow "other": disturbing, intense, incompatible, contradictory or transforming. Foucault's theoretical concept has proved to be particularly interesting in the theoretical debate regarding space.

Both concepts (epistemological and philosophical) have become in the past, elements of space's theoretical definition for architects, planners, geographers and philosophers in their attempt to conceive/design the space and/or to interpret the spatial dimension of contemporary social phenomena. In the restricted dimension of the term, in architecture heterotopias are prisons, clinics, a cemetery, an " urban vacuum ", a " bidonville " the American motel and the Persian or Japanese garden. But also heterotopias can be, a party, the honeymoon, a disorder, an alternative arrangement and in general an out of the ordinary space.

The notion of climate change and the objectives of this architectural design studio

Simultaneously, we live in a time of transition where the concept of " climate change " has become an important social phenomenon that has a significant and brutal impact on architectural production. In this architectural design studio we try to reinvent the architectural design by making the climate as a design parameter that comes from the beginning of the conceptual act. Thus, we try not to reproduce in a blind way architectural and programmatic stereotypes. On the other hand, space is not treated here as another area on which the oppositions of social reality are represented " rationally ", but as a heterogeneous set in which particular local conditions must be produced and rationally feed the architectural design; towards the goal of being linked to other social and spatio-temporal relations. To do so, students are invited to use the concept of heterotopia (epistemologically and philosophically).

In conclusion, in the framework of the present design studio we try to design a multisensorial architectural space using ad hoc light, sound and climate towards the goal of redefining the sensitive dimension of the Q of High Environmental Quality labelization through the definition of "climatic heterotopies".

Contraintes pédagogiques - Méthodes pédagogiques

Since this fourth year is an intermediate year in the curriculum of the Architect-Engineer diploma, the present Architectural Design Studio is seen as a collaborative Arcitecture and Engineer platform that pursues an essential goal essential: to accompany students in their journey towards AUTONOMY.

Thence the pedagogy is based on learning working on a concrete project, which is conceived in order to mobilise experimental, philosophical and synthetic knowledge. The project, is pedagogically used as a process and knowledge tool sketching in a concrete way:
- a reading area
- a conceptual space
- a formalization space
- a space for verification, evaluation and validation
- a transmission space

Contraintes pédagogiques - Moyens spécifiques

The atelier is the place where the project is born, and where the project evolves during the whole semester. The specific pedagogic methods that are applied during this pedagogical act consist on using a shared workplace where all the learning, theoretical, experimental, philosophical and practical dimension of the project are synthesized. The students develop their projects being motivated by the pleasure of "practicing and creating", by intuition, by analysis, while our design sessions are a place of research and experimentation on the basis of continuous exchange and debate where the multiplicity of opinions is encouraged. Furthermore, the present design studio aims to become an fertile environment of valorization and self-discovery where confrontation with others and work experience shape the students' personality. Finally different thematic lectures on the beginning of the sessions feed the continuous dialogue and enhance the alternative way of seing and conceiving urban and architectural space.

Mode d'évaluation

Students are invited to present their work in front of a jury two times during the semester. THe dliverables for the final presentation at the end of the semester are summarized below.


1. Concept design submission: Maximum six A3 horizontal pages including a representative cover page. This booklet must explain the key concepts of the student's project and how it aims to redynamize the entire site. In this document students have to include a Project description with a maximum of 500 words, references, materials, spatial arrangement of their program, sketches of design process and final sketches of ideas. Text on these pages must be typed using Arial font 10.

2. 200 word statement summarizing the main architectural ideas that are addressed through the design and a short explanation of how the main concept is correlated to the epistemological and theoretical notion of heterotopia. This text must be typed using Arial font 10 in A4 paper format.

3. Presentation Board: 6 A0 (841 * 1189 mm) presentation board which must include two site plans one at 1:1000 scale, and 1:500 scale (including the urban solution). Indicative floor plan dimensioned with indication of finishes at 1:500, elevations at 1:100, 4 3D impressions of exterior, at minimum 4 sections at 1:100. Two models of the site including the solution respectively at 1:1000 and 1:500 scale.


References (not exhaustive list)

Regarding heterotopias :

Regarding urban farms :
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Regarding Sustainable Building Design Principles
- Knowles R.L. " Energy and Form: An Ecological Approach to Urban Growth ". Cambridge: MIT Press, 1974.
- Myrup L.O. " A Numerical Model of the Urban Heat Island ". Journal of Applied Meteorology. Vol. 8.
- Fleig K. ed " Alvar Aalto ". New York :Praeger, 1975.
- Hopkinson R.G., Petherbridge P., Longmore J. " Daylighting ". London : Heinemann, 1966.

para-architecture references: