The educational environment of the programme is reflecting an effort to cut across inherited disciplinary and spatial categories, bringing them into a dialectical relationship: On the one hand, by engaging with multiple disciplines, from design, to social sciences, to engineering; and on the other hand, by operating across diverse physical landscapes, connecting the post-industrial cluster of Belval, which hosts the main University campus, to the ‘rural’ satellite town of Schengen, which hosts the dedicated studio space.
The Master of Architecture is embedded within the Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE), at the University of Luxembourg. With a strong emphasis on research, it promises productive connections with surrounding fields of humanities and social sciences, especially geography, economics, development, history and sociology, but also with neighboring programmes of engineering. The programme operates complementary to different masters and entities within the University, most notably: the Master in Geography and Spatial Planning, the Master in European Governance and in particular research on international development, political economy, sustainable development as well as the Master of Science in Civil Engineering and the Master in Sustainable Development.
The programme shares courses and faculty members, and encourages collaboration with students and research units from other faculties in order to produce synthetic results through the lens of design. Thus, the Master in Architecture introduces a very particular interdisciplinary identity, which distinguishes it from any other study programmes in architecture, and which is deemed necessary in order to understand and tackle the complex social, economic and environmental challenges associated with evolving processes of globalisation.
The programme operates across two main locations, bringing together two highly characteristic, but also distinct landscapes of the Luxembourg region. The first anchor of the programme lies on the Belval site, in the south of the country of Luxembourg, right next to the French border. In Belval, 120 hectares of industrial wasteland, which once housed Luxembourg’s largest steel foundry, are being redeveloped into a research, development and commercial hub, combining different services, businesses, scientific and educational institutions, sport infrastructures, recreation, dwellings and cultural centres. The Belval site hosts the main campus of Luxembourg University, as well as different research and learning institutions such as the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) and the new Learning Centre including the new central library of the university.
The second anchor of the programme lies in Schengen, at the intersection of Luxembourg, France and Germany, which is characterised by a distinctive landscape of agricultural production, with wineries blanketing the hilly terrain of the valley. Here, a former primary school has been transformed to host the dedicated studio space of the programme. The spacious building and its inspiring surroundings promise a productive atmosphere for experimentation in architectural and urban design.
The Schengen space is equipped with individual desks, group presentation spaces and collaborative working areas. It offers access to all necessary equipment for printing and model-making which includes large format plotter, laser cutter, 3D printer, large format scanners, colour laser printers as well as dedicated fully-equipped workstations. The Schengen studio space also hosts a specialised book collection on architecture and urbanism.
The programme embodies a truly interdisciplinary approach, and at the same time highlights the need to address the multiplicity of landscapes produced by contemporary urbanisation processes. It is positioned within a broader ecosystem including institutions such as Fab Lab Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Center for Architecture (LUCA), which was instrumental in the development of the programme since the early stages.