Rethinking Innovation, Adapting Architectural Heritage

The School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ENSAPL) is offering a summer school on "Rethinking Innovation, Adapting Architectural Heritage". This pre-doctoral programme will take place from July 2nd to July 27th 2017 in Lille.

Rethinking Innovation, Adapting Architectural Heritage (Archi 2018)

Transforming the city and the architecture of the 20th century for a sustainable 21st century.


Archi 2018 will focus on the fundamental aspects of the city and the architecture of the 20th century. Particular emphasis will be laid on their transformation in the prospect of a sustainable 21st century.
This Summer School will provide, in an advanced and renowned architecture school, high-standard, English-taught classes, meetings with top-tier researchers in the field as well as an introduction to research through a supervised project.

General Information

The 2018 France Excellence Summer School “Rethinking Innovation, Adapting Architectural Heritage” (Archi 2018) is co-organised by the Communauté d’Universités et Établissements Lille Nord de France (ComUELNF) and the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ENSAPL).

Archi 2018 will focus on the fundamental aspects of the city and the architecture of the 20th century. Particular emphasis will be laid on their transformation in the prospect of a sustainable 21st century.
This Summer School will provide, in an advanced and renowned architecture school, high-standard, English-taught classes, meetings with top-tier researchers in the field as well as an introduction to research through a supervised project.
ECTS credits will be delivered to the student attendees. A personalised Certificate of Completion will be provided to each participant for their achievements.

All the information regarding this Summer School will be available by December 15th on the following website:

-> Seizing the chance to discover the research community in a leading university in architecture and landscape architecture, with the perspective to integrate a PhD in France.
A great number of buildings that form the main terrain for architectural intervention date from the 20th century, especially from the second half, hence the relevance of the period. Even if social demands are evolving, this recent architecture is often subject to transformation or adaptation projects without any clearly defined theoretical foundation or even former knowledge of the buildings. Alongside these trivial or utilitarian projects, some exemplary results outline possible ways of thoughtfully re-using existing architecture.

Establishing the theoretical and practical foundations of the adaptation of 20th century architecture to new environmental and social conditions: a basis for prospective innovation that re-establishes the founding principles of the ideals of modernity. Transforming existing buildings and notably the heritage of the 20th century is an essential quantitative and qualitative factor for inventing the sustainable city of the 21st century.
The Summer School France Excellence “Rethinking Innovation, Adapting Architectural Heritage” (Archi 2018) aims to initiate students to the potential of innovation in the transformation of existing heritage.

The scientific programme will be organised by the ENSAPL research centre: the LACTH (Design, History, Territory and Materiality Laboratory), which is one of the most esteemed laboratories of architecture in France (
The LACTH research laboratory is associated with 2 doctoral schools: EDSHS (Science of Humanities and Society,University of Lille - Human and Social Sciences) and EDSESAM (Economics, Social studies, Planning and Management, University of Lille - Science and Technology). It brings together professors, researchers and research fellows as well as associate researchers that focus on architecture, city and landscape within their own fields. These are architects, landscape architects, historians, geographers, urban planners, sociologists and designers, who confer a multidisciplinary vocation to the laboratory.

The LACTH research laboratory focuses on the complexity of objects, forms and discourse that underlie architecture, town planning and contemporary landscapes. This exploration is approached through four specific research fields:
- Design: relations between experience and environment, discourse and representation, language and knowledge.
- Spatial planning: the ever-growing complexity of the urban reality and its models of comprehension of the last 30 years.
- History: the close combination of material history and cultural history to apprehend various situations.
- Materiality: the articulation between constructive theoretical and practical knowledge with regard to built structures.

-> Broadening your international experience under enjoyable and secure conditions in the most dynamic area of North-West Europe, with full access to the francophone world.
Midway between Paris, London and Brussels, you will be given the opportunity to learn French, discover French society and culture and visit historical and natural sites of the Hauts-de-France region. Cultural and social events will enable you to meet other international students and communicate in Chinese, English and French in a relaxed and festive atmosphere.
The cultural and linguistic programme, as well as the welcome services (accommodation and catering included), will be offered by the International Academy, the Summer University for international students at the Communauté d’Universités et Établissements Lille Nord de France.

The International Academy is devoted to offering services to international students incoming on pre-PhD degrees, filling the requirements of the France Excellence Programme that focuses on potential integration of a PhD in France.
The linguistic and socio-cultural programme ensures your full immersion into the life of the International Academy summer campus, which will admit, during the summer, students worldwide on individual mobility or on an exchange programme with France. The International Academy fosters integration and interactive exchange between students from various disciplines.

This programme is all-inclusive: accommodation, food, cultural trips as well as transportation (except for the flight to and from China) are covered.
All communication regarding the welcome services will be provided in English and Chinese.

Arrival in France, transfer and return to China
-> Before your arrival
As soon as you have been admitted, the COPAIN association and local Chinese PhD students will run a group via the WeChat application to the benefit of our 2018 France Excellence Summer Schools participants. The COPAIN association provides Northern France Chinese students with administrative, logistical and cultural support before and during their mobility.
-> Your arrival in France
The COPAIN association will welcome you at Paris Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle Airport (CDG) on Monday July 2nd at 12 am and will drive you directly to your residence in Lille metropolis.
-> Your return to China
The COPAIN association will drive you back to Paris Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle Airport (CDG) on Friday July 27th at 12 am.
Last day of class: Wednesday July 25th 2018.
Departure for China: Friday July 27th 2018.

-> Your accommodation
Moveover, you will be staying on the lively campus of Villeneuve d’Ascq in the International Residence Hall (named REEFLEX) where you can take advantage of informal conversations with the international scientific community.
You will be housed in a 16-18 square meter furnished room, with private bathroom and unlimited wifi access.
The REEFLEX residence hall is close to the "Cité Scientifique” metro station: 10 min to Lille city centre and 3 min to the popular V2 Shopping Mall.

-> Your catering
Your breakfasts, lunches and dinners will be booked throughout your stay: these will be delivered to your hall of residence, served in university canteen or in town.
We have done our utmost to offer you a variety of restaurants and different meals each time. We hope you will be delighted to taste our French food!
As we know it may be harsh to suddenly switch from one diet to another, we have decided to offer you typical Chinese dishes here and there throughout your food programme. You will also be given a pre-payed card to buy your own food in the shopping mall.

-> Your transport in Lille
On your first day in Lille you will be given a TRANSPOLE travel card: (local transportation company). This card will provide unlimited travel around Lille metropolis by underground, bus, tram and train network.

3 hours of the schedule will be devoted to receiving you in official events.
Introduction to the programme: Orientation (1.5 hours) preceded by a coffee greeting (Tuesday July 3rd).
Conclusion of the programme: Closing Ceremony (1.5 hours) followed by a cocktail (Wednesday July 25th).

Over half of the schedule will be devoted to a 60-hour scientific programme taught in English.
You will be offered top scientific lectures and courses, meetings with leading researchers in the field, as well as an introduction to research through a supervised project. The quality of the work undertaken and your scientific potential will be assessed.
60 hours of scientific programme:
• Site Investigation (20 hours)
• Visits of Buildings (9 hours)
• Courses (12 hours)
• Conferences (4 hours)
• Mini-Lectures (3 hours)
• Scientific Research Project (9 hours)
• Assessment (3 hours)

-> Content Outline
How to understand the reality of contemporary architecture? How to apprehend the second half of the 20th century, its specific features and meanings? The whole course will enable you to identify the historic nature of architectural forms, make sense of the emergence and transformation of contemporary forms and make out the different formulations of modern architecture.
Site investigation and visits of buildings: While discovering emblematic sites or buildings of the Lille metropolis and the state-of-the-art Dunkirk Learning centre, you will learn how to get a grasp of built heritage and seize the additional information given by the building and its own environment.

Courses: You will be taught restoration, reconversion and re-use, in close link with the site visits. From this knowledge and history, you will learn how to draw the means of enriching an architectural project.
Lectures: Two lectures bearing on re-use and the transformation of modern heritage will be given by Ana TOSTOES, and Hubert-Jan HENKET, both architects and professors, and respectively director and founder of DOCOMOMO International, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the Documentation and Conservation (DoCo) of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods of the Modern Movement (MoMo).

-> The Scientific Research Project
Designed to facilitate your admission to Doctoral programmes in France, the Scientific Research Project will require both personal and teamwork. It will include tutorial sessions (9 hours) and free discussion sessions with researchers and PhD students from the LACTH research laboratory.
From a first monographic approach to a building and its potential for transformation, through the analysis of articles, site analysis, the drafting of state-of-the-art practices, the developed project will lead to the production of a PhD subject. It will involve a final project defense in front of the scientific board.The Scientific Research Project of Archi 2018 will therefore be a springboard for your enrolment in a PhD programme in France in the field of architecture.

-> Location
The scientific programme of the 2018 France Excellence Summer School “Rethinking Innovation, Adapting Architectural Heritage” will take place within the ENSAPL, at the heart of Villeneuve d’Ascq, a new town in the Lille metropolis, 12 minutes away from the city centre. You will benefit from the school’s spaces and documentation, computer and multi-media laboratories, as well as its teaching staff. With unrestricted access, the ENSAPL will become your home.
NB: Minor modifications to the scientific programme may occur.

A fair share of the schedule will be devoted to a linguistic, social and cultural programme delivered in English and Chinese.
You will be offered exciting teachings on the following subjects: the French Language, Culture and Society, Intercultural Communication. A final assessment (beginner’s level) of the knowledge and skills acquired in French for Foreigners during the session will close your training.
The programme will be augmented with cultural visits and social events accompanied by the COPAIN association – a great occasion to meet other students in a more relaxed framework and to chat with professors and researchers in a friendly atmosphere.
When appropriate, you will be mixed with fellow 2018 France Excellence students.
56 hours of linguistic, social and cultural programme:
• French for Foreigners (18 hours)
• French Society (3 hours)
• Intercultural Communication (3 hours)
• Assessment (2 hours)
• Regional Nature & Culture (30 hours)

-> French for Foreigners
Getting to level A1. General written and spoken French: syntax, morphology, vocabulary, phonology.
Courses will enable you to strengthen your linguistic knowledge and improve your communication skills in day-today French. You will learn how to interact and, through appropriate and various activities in connection with daily life, you will get involved in the French culture.

-> French Society
French space, how better to apprehend its social and cultural context than in France?
Some cultural keys together with a little geography in both regional and national dimensions, major social issues, main historic facts since the Modern period, France in the European Union.

-> Intercultural Communication
An introduction to main elements: uniformity, difference and diversity.
How better to adapt to a new environment? You will be invited to question your own ongoing cross-cultural experience and acculturation strategies. You will be brought to find keys and make the best of your potential while studying in France.

-> Location
Language and cultural classes will take place in the state-of-the-art building of Sciences Po Lille, perfectly located in downtown Lille.

-> Regional Nature & Culture
Cultural site visits of exceptional historic and socio-economic interest as well as a local festive event will be included in the programme. The Hauts-de-France region is typified by its agrarian economy, its ancient trade fairs tradition, its former textile and mine industries steeped in the Catholic values of its captains, its maritime and Flemish borders, its vivid memory of wounds inflicted by two world wars, its cultural and social renewal.
- Old Lille, Fortifications & Museum of Fine Arts: Guided tour of streets, squares and monuments of the old town and its beautiful ancient Flemish architectures, as well as the pentagonal Citadel of the city wall of Lille; discovery of the richest, most impressive French Art Collection outside of the capital city (Saturday July 7th).
- Bruges: Free time in the charming old Flemish city, also known as “the Venice of the North” thanks to its beautiful canals (Sunday July 8th).
- Louvre-Lens Museum: Visit of the Time Gallery in the Northern Louvre (built atop a former mine works)and its revolutionary museography (Saturday July 14th). Optional – alternatively, you are free to travel where you want on your expense.
- Fireworks: Sightseeing of the great fireworks in Lille on the French National Day (Saturday July 14th).
- Ch’ti Evening: Local cuisine in a traditional restaurant and introduction to the Ch’ti linguistic and cultural specificity (Thursday July 19th).
- Excursion to the Coast: Visit of the spectacular Two Northern Capes Site from which one can see the British coast; visit of Nausicaá – French National Sea Experience Centre (Saturday July 21st).
NB: Minor modifications to the linguistic and cultural programme may occur.







Rethinking Innovation, Adapting Architectural Heritage

From July 2nd to July 27th 2017 in Lille 

The total number of places is limited to 25.


The price does not include the trip from China to Paris.

Accommodation, meals and local transportation are all included.

The summer school will deliver ECTS and a certificate.

The summer school is reserved to Chinese master students.

To apply, please follow the application procedure on the main page.

Price: 25.000 CNY


The French Embassy reserves a limited number of grants to students with an exceptional academic background. Grants cover the tuition fees but do not cover the trip from China to Paris.