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Building Beyond Borders

Building Beyond Borders

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Two modules of each 20 ECTS structure the 40 ECTS postgraduate programme:

Module A (20 ECTS) 

Skills Lab
towards sustainable architecture

Module B (20 ECTS) 

Live Lab
of a sustainable Design/Build project

Focus on knowledge and experiment

  • Mix of theory, exercises, and hands-on experiments
  • Design-studio work focused on the conceptual design
  • Field study prospection for the Design/Build project

Focus on project-based learning

  • Design-studio work focused on development and execution
  • Internship ‘beyond borders’ for the realisation of the Design/Build project

Semester 1 (September – January) 

  • 15 class sessions of 8 hours
  • 1 preparation day (6 hours) for field study abroad
  • 1-week field study abroad
    (early November)

Semester 2 (February – March)

  • 7 class sessions of 8 hours
  • 1 full-time workshop week (early February)
  • May-August: 8-week internship abroad

 Download the detailed schedule 2018-2019 > Dates, topics and locations are subject to change.



Seven course units form the core of the programme.

  1. Sustainability & design methodology
  2. Project management
  3. Field study prospection
  4. Physical-spatial and building-technical  design measures for sustainability
  5. Design/Build studio A & B
  6. Research Paper
  7. Internship ‘beyond borders’


Sustainability & design methodology

Theory & Practice - 3 ECTS

Theoretical background, insights and examples on relevant aspects of, and strategies towards sustainable architecture beyond borders.

  • From sustainable development to sustainable building
  • Design strategies and support for sustainable buildings
  • The participatory Design/Build process
  • Sociocultural aspects of building(s)

More information >

Project management

Theory & Practice - 3 ECTS
Practicalities related to designing and building beyond borders.

  • Off-site and on-site practicalities
  • Representation techniques for analysis, design and execution
  • Intercultural understanding and behaviour

More information >


© Bc architects & studies


Field study prospection                 


One-week on-site exploration of the natural, built and sociocultural context of the Design/Build project, backed by gained insights on the participatory Design/Build process, sociocultural aspects of building(s), on-site practicalities, representation techniques of mapping and analysis, and intercultural understanding and behaviour.

More information >





Physical-spatial and building-technical design measures for sustainability

Theory/Hands-on experiments - 3 ECTS

Generic framework for the selection of, and specific hands-on experimenting with – for the Design/Build project relevant - illustrative, bioclimatic design principles (e.g. orientation, ventilation) and non-conventional building materials and construction techniques (e.g. rammed earth, adobe).

  • The vernacular as a model for contemporary sustainable architecture: cases
  • Bioclimatic design principles
  • Non-conventional building materials and construction techniques

More information >


Design/Build studio A & B    

Design/Build studio -  6 + 6 ECTS

Real-life project-based experimentation on and implementation of design strategies and physical-spatial and building-technical measures to operationalize sustainability in architectural projects ‘beyond borders’.

  • A: Focus on the formulation of the design brief
  • A: Focus on the conceptual design
  • B: From conceptual design to final design
  • B: Focus on the development and execution

More information >



Research Paper                 


Setting up and conducting research on a specific topic related to and relevant for the Design/Build project.

More information >




Internship ‘beyond borders'


Eight-week on-site follow-up of and cooperation in the build phase of the Design/Build project, from the specific perspective of the participants’ background/interest.

More information >