Les Grands Ateliers de l´Isle d´Abeau GAIA - Education and Research in a big scale

2.1.1 Les Grands Ateliers de l´Isle d´Abeau

This text is part of my master thesis “Architecture Laboratories – Education and Research in a big scale”
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Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau (GAIA) is an institution for the communication and exploration of building culture, in particular the harboring and realization of innovative and diverse projects in the field of construction (Fig. 1). According to its website, it sees itself as a teaching and research laboratory; an extension of university teaching in architecture, the arts and civil engineering by practical experimentation on a large scale, up to the scale of 1: 1. It also defines itself as a platform for encounter between different educational institutions of the same discipline, such as architecture, or between different disciplines, such as engineering and the arts. The GAIA are a groupement d’interet public , a non-profit making public body. (6)

According to the website page about the history of GAIA, it was officially named as Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau, in 1994, but the preliminary work dates back to the early 1980s. Since 2001, GAIA has owned a building in the town of Villeneuve in the Rhone Alpes region, where they produce objects and prototypes in all sizes and variations. GAIA has a strong connection to various universities and other educational institutions in France, especially to the teaching and research bodies there, with which research goals are set and developed, with the help of students (I experienced this myself). This is explained in the annual report. (7)

Its internal competencies and network of partners enable GAIA to fulfil a variety of demands, from facilitating experiments in the freest way to technical tests on the calculated behavior of materials, as well as high-tech realizations or methodological and pedagogical innovations. Proposals for projects come from both the pedagogical and the professional field, according to the GAIA, but these are primarily carried out by the research laboratories of the universities: there is no project without a participating university. (8)

Fig. 1 GAIA –View from the South

One could therefore speak of GAIA as a kind of outsourced research laboratory. The Grands Ateliers’ offer, to various educational institutions, companies, interest groups, such as the Chamber of Architects or local authorities, therefore, is mainly a platform for the production of prototypes with extended functions. This diversity of origins and traditions of building through these various disciplines generates a rich mix of personalities and views on the culture of building, which can enhance the awareness of students. The interactions of these groups, random or pre-programmed, extend the various pedagogies and research projects whose instruments are thereby strengthened and expanded. Furthermore, according to their website, GAIA has been working for some time now on a network of collaborative knowledge exchange and innovation, in which universities and businesses can support each other, especially in the use of materials and their design possibilities.The issue of intellectual property also plays a role here. (9) Location

Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau are located in the commune of L’ Isle d’Abeau of the Isère department in the Rhône-Alpes region and are part of the Porte de l’Isère (Fig. 2).

In the 1970s, the originally small community L’Isle d’Abeau was expanded together with Villefontaine and other communities to a ville nouvelle . A ville nouvelle is the response of the French Government in the 1960s to the calculated demographic rise in regions around major cities and the associated additional expense in the centralized administration of France. Communities were merged under a parent body: the ville nouvelle. This corporation receives subsidies from the state and in the future will take care of the regional centralization of infrastructure, urban planning and much more. (Fig. 3).

With this new entity and the state subsidies associated with it, a large investment package will be put in place to provide living space and jobs for future residents. Here L’Isle d’Abeau decides to focus on sustainable building and promotes the settlement of construction companies as well as educational and research institutions. In 1985, the Village de terre project set a representative mark. Later, GAIA also settled in the area (Fig. 4, Fig. 5). Today, more than 60% of French research on concrete, textile cements and glass takes place in this region. (10)

Fig. 4 View of GAIA from Boulevard de Villefontaine Staff and Budget

Figure 6 shows the annual functional budget of GAIA over the years 2008 to 2011. It also lists the annual investment budget, which is partly subsidized by the Rhone-Alpes region.
The staff consists of three people, subsidized by the Ministry of Culture and Communication and the ENTPE (Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics d’Etat) with a wage / year of 120 000 €. These costs are already included in the budget statement. It also has six employees, provided by GAIA’s founding universities: Employees of ENSAG (Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Architecture de Grenoble) (1), ENSAL (Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Architecture de Lyon) (2), ENTPE ( 2) and Saint-Étienne (1) with annual wages of around € 245,000. (11) Workload

During the academic year 2011-2012, the occupancy rate was as follows:
– Students / day: 8,739 people.
Of this figures, 852 was for the Grains d’Isère festival and 1,253 for the construction of the Canopea project for the Solar Decathlon.
–               171 lecturers have taught at GAIA
–               42 offered modules for basic education (Bachelor, Master) and further education (PhD)
–               15 educational institutions, including 2 foreign ones, participated in the basic education activities. (12)


Fig. 5 Aerial view of GAIA History and Architecture

The at first purely pedagogical and nameless project, was initiated by the architecture universities ENSAL ( Ecole Nationale Supérieure d ‘Architecture de Lyon ) and ENSAG ( Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’ Architecture de Grenoble ), in particular by its laboratories, to collaborate on research projects. The network of constructive building culture established in France and launched by the Architectural, Urban and Landscape Research Office drew attention of other French and European universities to this experimental collaboration and also indicated their interest in sharing knowledge. (13) These positive resonances have resulted in inter-disciplinary approaches in the Rhone-Alpes region between the ENSAG ( Ecole Nationale Supérieure d ‘Architecture de Grenoble ) and the EASE ( Ecole d’Art de Saint Etienne ), as well as joint seminar experiments between the ENSAL ( Ecole Nationale Supérieure d ‘Architecture de Lyon ), the ENTPE ( Ecole nationale des travaux publics d’Etat ) and the INSA (National Institute of the Sciences Appliquées de Lyon ). These institutions ENSAG, ENSAL, INSA, EASE and ENTPE finally gave the project its name Les Grands Ateliers. (14)

At about the same time, between 1981 and 1985, the commune of L’Isle d’Abeau in the Rhone-Alpes region, together with ENSAG’s CRAterre laboratory and ENTPE, started the experimental construction of a 2.2 hectare settlement of 12 clay building houses at 65 units. The project was named Le village terre , the Earth City. It was shown in 1982 in a traveling exhibition called Des Architectures de terre ou l’avenir d’une tradition millénaire and had great national and international success. The success of this exhibition gave birth to the idea of ​​a new center for teaching and research in construction and building culture in L’Isle d’Abeau. The principles were: meet, approximate, realize. (15) In 1991, the institutions SAN ( Syndicat d’Agglomération Nouvelle ), EPIDA ( Public Administration of the Ville Nouvelle de l’Isle d’Abeau ), the Directorate of Architecture and Urbanisme and the EAG ( Ecole d’Architecture de Grenoble ) held a convention. (16) The above were interested in developing a teaching and research laboratory within the boundaries of the Porte de l’Isère commune and defined the principal directions of the project.

In 1993 other educational institutions associated themselves with the project, either directly or through their research laboratories and research teams: these included the architecture universities of the Rhone-Alpes region, Paris-Villemin and Montpellier, and the art universities of St. Etienne, Grenoble and Lyon. In 1994, The Ministère de l’Equipement , represented by the Department of Architecture and Urban Design, the Region and the Municipalities Associations, decided on a contract within the framework of economic planning, representing the first stage of the new building, which would also house the new teaching and research laboratory for 20 million francs (3 million euros). The building was partly financed by the state and partly by the municipalities.

In 1995, a protocol was signed between eleven universities, as well as the CSTB ( Center Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment ) and EPIDA ( Public Administration of the Ville Nouvelle de l’Isle d’Abeau ). This shows the will of the founder institutions to cooperate with each other and thus to create a common “tool”, namely Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau (GAIA). This protocol decided the new management, the works council, as well as the board for science and education. From 1995 to 1998, the Founding Institutions got to know each other better by working together and through activities of pre-configuration, clarifying the goals and missions of the Center, and finally gained new partners through the new perspectives of the project. Several universities and research teams then joined the project to give it a European dimension. Ten industrial partners supported these actions, both financially and materially, and are still actively involved today (Figure 8).

In December 2001, the first construction phase was completed and handed over. The GAIA community could move into their building and begin harboring their activities, especially teaching and experimenting. (17)



Fig. 7 Ground Plan of GAIA – First Floor


Fig. 11 GAIA – Cross section through the factory hall and ancillary rooms

The building has a total width of 30m, length of 52m and height of 11m. The gross floor area is about 1600m2 GFA. It also has sealed outdoor facilities of around 5200m 2 (Fig. 9). It is divided into a northeastern and a southwestern wing, each 15m deep, connected by a central corridor The building is built in steel skeleton construction. All functions are hung by means of cubicles in the square grid of 7.5m (Figure 10).

The roof construction can be classified as two symmetrical flat roofs, which are drained via a central flat roof. However, the roof also makes an allusion to the shed roof, undoubtedly to divert the resulting loads and rainwater every 15m into the larger cross members (Figure 11). The southwestern wing contains a hall enclosed on all sides ( grande hall ), a hall ( hall intermediaire ) open on one side , and a multifunctional room used as a dining room and exhibition space. The rooms extend, with the exception of the multi-function room, over a ceiling height of 8m. The northeastern wing presents itself half as a thermally finished concrete building with two floors and includes:

–               on the ground floor: shared kitchen, thematic workshops (wood, steel, digital), storage rooms, hospital rooms and sanitary facilities
–               on the 1st floor: seminar rooms, changing rooms and administration
–               on the second floor: administration, research offices

The second half of the wing is an externally loadable warehouse, divided by grid structures. In the northwest, a fenced outdoor area of ​​approximately 740m2 is divided into the building, which provides storage space and is declared as an external hall. In the south and southwest towards the main road we find the representative facade of the building and the forecourt, which is mainly used by the students as a place of leisure. Up towards the road we find a large terraced embankment with Corten steel elements reminiscent of a theatrical stage. If you stay there, you can let the building work its charm on you (Fig. 12).

The façade area of ​​the Grande Halle is characterized by a suspended tertiary building shell made of glass elements, behind which emergency blankets were stretched. These fulfil the task of sun protection and, by affixing to the inside of the curtain wall construction, make it possible to heat up the interior (Fig. 13). This serves as an air reservoir to deliver the heat energy stored during the day evenly to the interior at night and in winter. This form of architecture already shows in its construction the experimentation with extraordinary materials and by itself already fulfils a part of the pedagogy of alternative building. The ground floor zone can be opened completely to the outside (Fig. 14).

On the southeast side, the main entrance of the building presents itself as rather reserved. The multifunctional room can be opened on this side for exhibitions (Fig. 15). Inside, the polycarbonate and OSB wall cladding gives the building a rustic semi-finished character, yet it exudes an extraordinary aesthetic through the careful blending of materials (Figure 16). All in all, the building is a sophisticated yet rational construction that places great emphasis on light, insight and efficiency. The budget of three million euros was clearly handled with care and specific accentuations were set.

In May 2002, the legal structure, which unites the founders in a long-term grouping d’interet public, was officially published for the first time. (18)


Fig. 13 GAIA – Collage of the facade construction from rescue blankets The missions of GAIA

GAIA ( Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau) is defined by the following three missions:

–              Teaching, in the wider sense, from basic education (Bachelor, Master) up to extended education (PhD).
–               Research on a large scale up to 1: 1.
–               Information and the dissemination of collected knowledge.

These three missions are not to be seen as independent, but to enrich each other. The originality of GAIA lies in the proposal of an “active pedagogy”. This forms a relationship between the theoretical work and the architectural matter. This enables it to reflect on new research practices. Furthermore, the use of new communication techniques, such as the, then relatively young, Internet, have been used to spread the building culture. The achievements of research, for example, through training seminars with faculty and researchers, should update the curricula of educational institutions. In general, the distance between teaching and the current state of knowledge of the industry should be reduced by educational projects. The composition of mixed teams, consisting, for example, of researchers and specialist planners, is intended to give a new insight to materials and their composition. The active added value of these resulting achievements, together with the didactic reflection on the nature of teaching from the Grands Ateliers, is intended to be a laboratory for experimentation and study for educational research. (19) The Teaching

Fig. 17 Exercise to understand the load support against soil (2015)

As part of the teaching mission, GAIA ( Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau) has set as its first goal enriching the basic education, which includes both the Bachelor’s and the Master’s program. GAIA does not see itself as a new university and should not have an autonomous curriculum. Rather, autonomous seminar units are to be offered, which in turn are anchored in the educational curriculum.

These seminar units are intended to support teaching through the practical handling of materials used in construction (Fig. 17, Fig. 18). The content and requirements of these seminar units, produced by teachers, were first presented in 1997 in a catalog with the staff of GAIA and compiled with the professors of the former partner universities, namely the ENSAL ( Ecole Nationale Supérieure d ‘Architecture de Lyon ) and the ENSAG ( Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Grenoble ). It argues for an active pedagogy in which students should play with, and experiment with the handling of, materials. In this catalog it was agreed to mention the topics: matter and materials, construction, form, assembly, system of structure and building envelope, environment and atmosphere, which in turn were arranged for better processing into the subject areas:

–               Environment and eco-construction
–               Earthquake safety and other big risks (eg flood)
–               Room Design

Seminars on these topics have been and are developed for students, ranging from a few days to several weeks. Furthermore, GAIA defines research programs, or organizes further training seminars for teaching staff and the industry (specialist planners and companies). In addition, since 2002, thematic weeks and seminars have been organized, in which one deals with certain materials such as wood or concrete. (20)


Fig. 18 Construction Exercise – Realization of a Retaining Wall (2015) The Research

University engineering and architecture research laboratories and industrial research centers provide a critical mass of competencies, activated and networked through GAIA (Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau) as a mediator. Organizing exchanges between research and industry will allow for innovation and originality, especially in the area of ​​materials and their design possibilities.

GAIA is intended to serve as a place of experiment, as well as a neuralgic hub to unite to find solutions in areas such as earthquake-proof constructions, ageing of materials or interior design. Artists, engineers and architects should be able to work together to create innovation. GAIA tries to find innovative research directions within their network for research. These are then assisted in research projects, as well as the search for financing, by networking with industrialists. They provide a space for experimenting with tools and qualified personnel and help to disseminate the results of this work. (21)

Worth mentioning is the project, “Armadillo Box”, a contribution by the ENSAG ( Ecole National Supérieure d ‘Architecture de Grenoble ) to the international competition, Solar Decathlon in 2010 in Madrid (Fig. 19). The project objective is the design and realization of a so-called plus-energy-building, with core-skin-shell-concept, which can be operated self-sufficiently with solar energy. (22)

‘Plus energy buildings’ are another name for zero energy or net zero energy buildings, where “[…] as a result of the very high energy efficiency of the building, the annual primary energy consumption is equal to, or lower than, the energy production from local renewable energy sources.“ (23)
To meet these requirements, a special building envelope of wood and clay was used in this project, among others, previously developed at the research laboratory CRATerre the ENSAG ( Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Architecture de Grenoble ) and GAIA.


Fig. 19 The Armadillo Box, in the background the GAIA from the northeast (2011)

The Armadillo box has been standing on the grounds of GAIA ( Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau) since the end of the competition in autumn 2010, where it’s properties can be examined in the long term, in terms of the obsolescence of its materials, in particular the obsolescence of the claywood wall, and its energy efficiency. Information and dissemination

The third mission is to make GAIA ( Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau) a production and distribution center for constructive building culture. In order to address a wider audience with its research, teaching and educational topics, the following actions are taken:

– Permanent exhibitions (Fig. 20).
– Events for the exchange of disciplines, universities and
companies (seminars, colloquia, thematic weeks).
– a multimedia research center CR2M, which can be consulted via the
– Material library integrated in CR2M. (24)
– the publication and dissemination of seminars and their pedagogy



Fig. 20 Interior dining room / showroom

The platform CR2M was not discovered until the end of this work. From the point of view of this work, the dissemination of publications mainly takes place via the member universities and their websites or publications. Whether there are publications on the topic of active pedagogy could not be determined. Activities Fete de Lumiere

In 2002, an annual student ideas competition for urban lighting began, starting at the beginning of each academic year with a dozen art, architecture and design universities across Europe. The installations can be found in the Fete de Lumiere on a square and its neighboring streets in the center of Lyon (Fig. 21). (25) The theme of these installations is light. It is especially an opportunity for students to design bright and transient installations with a fresh and creative perspective.

These student experiments are designed to renew the perception of urban space, and demonstrate the architectural richness of this neighborhood. It is a particular challenge for the students, as the intervention in public space is viewed by several thousand spectators. Fifteen projects are selected each year to create a poetic and / or playful passage that questions our relationship to the city. These installations are made by the students themselves in GAIA ( Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau) , under the supervision and with the assistance of the staff. (26) Festival Grains Isere



Fig. 23 Festival Grains d‘Isere – view from the southwest (2011)

The Festival Grains d’Isère is a major event in the world of earth building and its architecture. It is an international event / rally that combines art, culture and science around earth and clay. Grains d’Isere is principally supported by the ENSAG ( Ecole Nationale Supérieure d ‘Architecture de Grenoble ) CRATerre laboratory, which has existed since 1979 , and organized with various partners, in particular GAIA ( Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau). The festival has become an essential meeting place for teaching and disseminating information on clay architecture. It hosts and organizes various thematic events and supports the use of clay in construction in France and abroad. In 2011, the festival had 852 students (Fig. 23). (27) The Solar Decathlon Solar Decathlon 2012 – Project Canopea AMàCO / ARCHES / CCD

In 2011, GAIA ( Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau), together with the ASTUS platform, sought an extension. In the fallow area east of the GAIA, a “city of sustainable construction” was to be created: a major project of around ten million euros (Fig. 35).
The extension is divided into the three parts AMáCO – Atelier matières à construire, a pedagogical center for the study of primary building materials such as sand, water, earth, straw and wood with a focus on sustainable construction. ARCHES, an extension of Grands Ateliers for the function of building prototypes on a 1: 1 scale, built by member universities in collaboration with companies and the ASTUS platform. (32) Plateforme ASTUS

The municipality of Port d’Isere, part of the Rhone-Alpes region, is characterized by a tradition of urban development innovation, such as the 80s village terre; an experimental district of earthenware. Companies that have been around for a long time also installed and built their research centers there. Today, more than 60% of French research on concrete, textile cements and glass takes place in this region. (33)

With an awareness of this, GAIA ( Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau), universities of architecture, engineering and art and the CSTB ( Center Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment ) gathered under one roof and tried to simplify the teaching of architectural design and sustainable construction, through experiments on a scale of 1: 1. The community association Vallons de la Tour and the municipal association Port de l’Isere have committed themselves to make these existing competences for sustainable constructions more visible.


Fig. 35 Aerial collage of planned expansion GAIAs (2011)

Supported by the Rhone-Alpes region, as part of the large-scale project Rhône-Alpes Nord-Isère durable in September 2012, the municipal associations of Vallons de la Tour, Port dl’Isere, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Pôle innovations constructives, (34) the association of the Bourgoigne-Jallieu vocational training center for construction, the French Federation of Building Rhone-Alpes, private investors and the GAIA formed the platform ASTUS Construction and finance investments around the GAIA, with 5.2 million euros.

This association aims to further encourage the actors, who are already individually working on issues of sustainable construction, to offer suggestions and services to companies that will in future be testing materials, their compositions or design processes, thereby experimenting and tracking the performances, in order to facilitate the diffusion of innovations and the management of intellectual property. By developing collaborative work between companies in this new network and an economic model, the financial autonomy of this association should be ensured within three years. Whether this was actually the case could not be determined exactly. (35) Analysis

Before the construction of the site in L’ Isle d’Abeau, Les Grands studios had been working for over 25 years on building a cooperative and mutually supportive architectural teaching and research landscape, with universities on the one hand and with companies and local authorities on the other, starting small and growing over time. GAIA has already been able to add significant value to technical education institutions and the French economy, both in terms of innovation and the spread of active pedagogy. Although initially the sociocultural component was not treated as an issue, in its capacity as a teaching and research laboratory it contributed to the growth of the L’Isle d’Abeau area.

An interesting feature is that they do not try to be an independent, self-contained apparatus but rather an extension of the existing university landscape and its infrastructure, and a new hub of communication between educational institutions. The focus here is always on the provision of resources and premises for teaching and research at universities, only secondarily are interests of companies and their interest groups added. And this only to the extent that teaching and research at universities is supported, both in terms of knowledge and budget. However, since universities are a public corporation and the GAIA ( Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau ), as a non-profit organization, in principle have no interest in copyright, patents or secrecy, and are primarily interested in the publication of their work, it is questionable how far this actually works within the existing competence network of the companies around GAIA.

For companies, value is created in the economization of innovation and research results. Therefore, the added value of free-market cooperation must bring economic benefits to the business. GAIA, along with other institutions, has apparently been able to help these companies recognize the added value of cooperative activities, namely the reduction of costs for their own research centers through the cooperative exchange of knowledge and the division of labor with other companies in order to bring about faster innovation and to stand up as a collective for the use of their products. Of course, this can only work as long as the labor market has enough space for all those involved in this collective. It therefore remains to be seen how this cooperation will evolve.

Of course, for GAIA this cooperation gives the same advantage of cooperative knowledge exchange, as well as the third-party funding of its projects and that of its university members. The fact that the GAIA focus on university teaching and research also proves current projects such as the AMaCO or the ARCHES, which are based purely on this to be an extension and opportunity for cooperation for universities. The GAIA also helps to update the teaching content in schools and universities with the latest achievements in their research. Not forgetting the social aspect of a studio, which brings together interdisciplinary and inter-university forces and thus can contribute to a new understanding of architecture, especially through the connection to the teaching operation from the first semester.

To date, one of the first missions, that of information and dissemination, could not be implemented. The platform CR2M was not discovered until the end of this work. From the point of view of this work, the dissemination of publications mainly takes place via the member universities and their websites or publications. Whether there are publications on the topic of propagated active pedagogy actually could not be determined.

This text is part of my master thesis “Architecture Laboratories – Education and Research in a big scale”
More Information / Full Text


6 Les Grands Ateliers 2012, 20-21.

7 Ibid., 22-23.

8 Cf. Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau: Les Missions [Accessed: 30.10.2015].

9 Cf. Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau: Le projet [Accessed: 30.10.2015].

10 Cf. Les Grands Ateliers 2013, 6-9. On this topic: Genay 2002, 1-4. Bonnet 1975, 171-176.

11 Cf. Les Grands Ateliers 2012, 140-141. The information is from 2011.

12 Cf. Ibid., 140-141. For the 8739 persons in 2011, the persons are counted once a day.

13 The Office of Architectural, Urban and Landscape Research is part of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.

14 Cf. Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau: Les grandes étapes [Accessed: 30.10.2015].

15 Cf. Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau: Le concept [Accessed: 30.10.2015]. Mairie Villefontaine: Le Village Terre URL [Accessed: 30.10.2015]. More on this topic: Dethier 1982. Adeline Lozach‘meur 1984.

16 The EAG (Ecole d’Architecture de Grenoble) later became the ENSAG (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Grenoble).

17 Cf. Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau: Les grandes étapes [Accessed: 30.10.2015]. 18 Cf. Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau: Les grandes étapes [Accessed: 30.10.2015].

19 Cf. Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau: Les Missions. Accessed: 30.10.2015].

20 Cf. Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau: Les Missions. [Accessed: 30.10.2015].

21 Cf. Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau: Les Missions [Accessed: 30.10.2015].

22 More on Core-Skin-Shell: Quenard 2009.

23 Cf. European Parliament: Position of the European Parliament, adopted at first read- ing on 23 April 2009 EP-PE_TC1-COD (2008) 0223.

24 Cf. Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau: Les Missions [Accessed: 30.10.2015].

25 Street festival in Lyon, originally in honor of Mary and her preservation of the city from the plague.

26 Cf. Les Grands Ateliers 2012, 60-63.

27 Cf. Ibid. 124-125. The number of students is calculated by the number of students / participants multiplied by the days of the event.

28 Cf. Les Grands Ateliers 2013, 122-123.

29 Cf. Wikipedia : Solar Decathlon [Accessed: 23.1.2016].

30 Cf. CRAterre: Solar Decathlon 2010, 4eme place pour l´armadillo box ENSAG (31.8.2010) [Accessed: 23.1.2016].

31 In the “Ecole Nationale Superieur d’Architecture”, the second year of the Master’s pro- gram is a single one-year project exercise coupled with a written paper. These parts together make up the master’s thesis of the student.

32 Cf. Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau: Appel a projets Equipex 33 Les Grands Ateliers 2012, 136-137.

34 The pôle innovations constructives, a competence center for innovative and sustain- able construction founded by the Rhone-Alpes region in 2007, brings together around 100 construction companies, specialist planners and service providers as well as teaching and research institutions under one name.

35 Cf. Les Grands Ateliers de l’Isle d’Abeau: Projet ASSTUS [Accessed: 30.10.2015].

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