Conference-debate on the history of architecture schools in France and Quebec

Date: January 31, 2023, 5:30 pm.

Location: Amphitheatre 1120, Faculté de l’aménagement, Université de Montréal.

On the occasion of the publication in 2022 of L’architecture en ses écoles, une encyclopédie, we welcome Daniel Le Couédic, architect and historian, professor at the University of Western Brittany, and co-director of the book. Around Lucie K. Morisset, professor at UQAM and holder of the Canada Research Chair on Urban Heritage, this conference-debate will also bring together two Quebec contributors to the encyclopedia, François Giraldeau, honorary professor at UQAM’s School of Design, and Jean-Pierre Chupin, professor at UdeM’s School of Architecture and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Architecture, Competitions and Mediations of Excellence,

  • Anne-Marie Châtelet, Amandine Diener, Marie-Jeanne Dumont and Daniel Le Couédic, (eds.), L’architecture en ses écoles (une encyclopédie de l’enseignement de l’architecture au XXe siècle), Châteaulin, Éditions Locus Solus, 2022.
  • Jean-Pierre Chupin and François Giraldeau, article Québec, relations et échanges. p. 568.


With its 704 pages and 341 notes written by 147 authors, this work is the result of a vast collective effort to gather and deepen, in an unprecedented way, a state of knowledge that was fragmentary until now. This history of architectural education in France in the twentieth century addresses multiple dimensions – pedagogical, professional, territorial, political, institutional and material – and covers a range of institutions involved in architectural education, such as engineering schools.

In France, the history of architectural education was long reduced to its alleged shortcomings and to the story of the struggle of the champions of modernity against the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. The earthquake of 1968 buried even the memory of that bygone era. The revival came from the United States, where the École had once enjoyed great prestige, but at first it concerned only the nineteenth century. It was not until the 1980s that the complexity of the things debated and experienced in the twentieth century began to be illuminated and, above all, that the investigations of architecture, its teaching, the profession and its practice were correlated.

In this movement, one rediscovered the long exacerbated debate between the architects defending the Parisian monopoly and their provincial colleagues, which had preluded the creation of the first regional schools in 1903. The Regional School of Rennes – which became the Regional School of Brittany in 1984 – was the second to open its doors; its history thus allows us to understand all the stages of this bumpy path which, well beyond architecture, provides information on the reinvention of higher education in France and on the role it played in the structuring of the national territory.

The discussion will also be based on another book by our guest: Le Couédic Daniel, Sauvage André, L’École d’architecture de Bretagne : Un siècle de fabrique des architectes, Châteaulin, Locus Solus, 2022.