PROGRAM STRUCTURE AND PROFESSORS

The program consists of 600 hours (60 ETCS). Each credit is associated to 25 personal studying-working hours.

Participants will develop their design skills through an intensive series of one-week workshops and complete their theoretical knowledge in specialty seminars.  Sometimes additional supporting documents or written information about the lectures will be provided to all students.

 

All workshop and specialties are mandatory in order to receive the MCH Diploma.

The Master of advanced studies in Collective Housing is keen on teamwork because it is the way offices and research labs function today.

 

In the past years, MCH has built a close relationship with great architects such as Dietmar Eberle, Felix Claus, Anne Lacaton, Frits van Dongen, Anna Heringer, Hrvoje Njiriç, Juan Herreros, Dick van Gameren, Riken Yamamoto, Cino Zucchi, Jacob van Rijs, Alejandro Aravena, Andrea Deplazes, Max Risselada or Wiel Arets, who are regular workshop leaders. It is the interaction between teachers and participants that generates the greatest results and production each year.

 

Go to Professors

 

Workshops

One-week workshops offer participants a place to further develop the acquired knowledge during the year. During that week, there is a change of pace in which they take a break from the other specialties and intensify their work in the workshops to make the best out of it.

 

The topic and approach for every workshop is different and the methodology used by the invited architect is also meant to vary in order to give the participant a wide range of cases to learn from.

 

Each workshop leader is matched with a young local architect, who acts as teaching assistant.

 

Each workshop consists of 25 teaching hours (7x 2.5 ETCS), although exceptions may occur. However, workshop leaders usually take their task as a full-day activity and invest more time than expected.

 

Go to Workshop leaders

ANNA HERINGER

It is designed as an experimental workshop: less plans but lots of dirt.

The method „Clay-storming“, developed with Martin Rauch, was used at MCH. This is a more intuitive approach to building and designing. It is often rather sad that all the great researches and analyses seam to end up in grids and blocks and same-looking facades, and although for sure those systems work well, not everybody can really embrace them with their hearts. Why to design like that, while in our holidays we go to historic towns in Europe or vernacular villages in Africa or Asia? There must be a way to get this quality again in our designs.

It is probably a lot the question of materiality and the process of building, that’s why a part of the workshop deals with earth architecture (how to build with earth), but a big part is an intuitive and emotional search for quality of spaces. It’s about avoiding the difference in designing for poor countries or for rich – since inhabitants in Europe or richer parts of the world have no rights to consume more resources than those living in poor countries, just because they can afford it. So it is about philosophical discussions around sustainability and housing, a training of common sense logic, but less analysing. A site in Africa is chosen: Makeni, in Sierra Leona.


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ANDREA DEPLAZES

What does it mean having a building depth of 6 metres? And what if they were 28 metres? How does a dwelling vary if it has different building depth but the same amount of squared metres? As if it was a typological catalogue, participants will analise the implications that having one or another building depth would have for a dwelling. Which qualities regarding circurlation, access, sunlight, ventilation, facilities location and intimacy has a dwelling according to its depth. Identifying the strengths of each case and its problems would be a first step to make in this laboratory, so that it is possible to propose a conceptual approach according to it, afterwards.
JOSEP MARÍA MONTANER

The aim of the course is reflecting and designing for the changing conditions of living in contemporary cities. Barcelona is changing the housing law to adapt it to new times, for that is including a new typology in Spain: Co‐housing.

Cohousing is an intentional community of homes clustered around shared spaces. Shared spaces usually feature a common house or space, which may include kitchen and dining area, laundry, co‐working areas, spaces for children care and recreational spaces.

Cohousing cultivates a culture of sharing and caring, promoting frequent interaction and close relationships. Cohousing neighbourhoods are designed for privacy as well as community, residents get to choose their level of engagement thus balancing privacy and community how they see it according to their lifestyle. Cohousing makes easy to form clubs or associations for make an easier living like organize child and elder care, and car‐sharing. In the same way the culture of the common generates spaces for occupational and economic activities.


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ZAIDA MUXÍ

The aim of the course is reflecting and designing for the changing conditions of living in contemporary cities. Barcelona is changing the housing law to adapt it to new times, for that is including a new typology in Spain: Co‐housing.

Cohousing is an intentional community of homes clustered around shared spaces. Shared spaces usually feature a common house or space, which may include kitchen and dining area, laundry, co‐working areas, spaces for children care and recreational spaces.

Cohousing cultivates a culture of sharing and caring, promoting frequent interaction and close relationships. Cohousing neighbourhoods are designed for privacy as well as community, residents get to choose their level of engagement thus balancing privacy and community how they see it according to their lifestyle. Cohousing makes easy to form clubs or associations for make an easier living like organize child and elder care, and car‐sharing. In the same way the culture of the common generates spaces for occupational and economic activities.


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ANNE LACATON

For the MCH’s 2017 edition, Anne Lacaton’s workshop will work around the FRAC’s neighborhood in Dunkirk’s harbor and surrounded by the sea. The huge site around the FRAC is a former industrial site which was mostly dismantled in the 80’s.

The workshop will be hosted by the FRAC (Contemporary Art Center), designed by Lacaton & Vassal and built in 2013 after reusing a former assembly shed from an existing shipyard, where the final pieces of the boats where assembled together.

A new residential masterplan was designed for this area, lacking better attention to its very special location and its landscape qualities. Some housing buildings have already been built, but the development of this new neighborhood progresses slowly, and there are still large empty plots, on which some activity still remains.

We will work to set a strategy of densification, providing better use for the unused land, filling and infiltrating the voids, developing mixed-use programs and open structures that could offer spaces for housing and other activities for public use. As a sole given rule, we will assume that every existing building still in use or re-usable, should be kept.


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PATRICK GMÜR

Being in the business of design requires architects to have a highly developed spatial awareness, and this ability is particularly important when it comes to creating cost-effective residential high-rises. The objectives of this workshop are (I) to discuss requirements specific to cost-effective high-rise accommodation (such as optimised central services cores and economical floor plans for apartments), (II) to design new and independent solutions, and (III) to implement the municipal spatial planning programme sustainably and with a minimum of resources.


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DIETMAR EBERLE

How much does a building last? How much should it last? What would our building be when time passes by? Architecture is always public and that implies a responsibility that should make us think in a time horizon in which our buildings would change and their success would depend on the resilience it has. Thus arises a method to project that focuses on those elements that determine its later adaptations. These are: relationship with the surroundings; structure and core location; the envelope and its relationship with the street and the comfort it provides.
HRVOJE NJIRIÇ

In the times when tourism strategies are reduced to attract visitors with shallow, banal and simple-minded agendas, top-notch destinations relate their efficiency to the extent of disneyfied space they have to offer. The entire cities are turned into theme-parks full of scenic imagery and artificial constructs – Venice, Dubrovnik, xxxxx, you name it.

«Show your Disney side» suggests instant amusement, benign playfulness, innocent morality, disclosure of subliminal and surrender to the childish in you. However, studies show that Disney world reveals a number of contradictory aspects, some of them quite opposite to the well-known and so much loved ideals of the perfect world of hope and joy. Racial stereotypes, satanic imagery, subliminal messaging, awkward body-types, historical inaccuracies – all deeply embedded in the movies of Disney production. Messages such as – beauty is moral, ugliness is immoral, sexual harassment is acceptable, social status counts, everything is fluffy, all may have a serious impact on kids.


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Specialties
Each specialty seminar is coordinated by a technical director who relies on a group of teachers and specialists from all over the world. Specialty seminars last 35 teaching hours approximately. In any case, the approach is basically practical and complementary information is given digitally or on paper.

 

Go to Specialty leaders


Urban design

Energy &
sustainability
Business,
management &
international
activity
Low-cost &
emergency
housing

Housing
projects

Construction &
technology
Sociology,
economy &
politics

City
sciences

Housing
Theory
Urban design 4.0 ETCS
Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani

The dwelling and the house: to speak and to think about what we could call "the dwelling discourse", is intimately and inevitably rooted in the deeper and more essential core of the architectural discipline.

Implicit within the dwelling/project, there are to try out full genomes. An explicit one: to optimise the domestic space, and what could be obtained in and from it; and an embedded one: to anticipate a city/project, and viceversa, to translate it in so far as the city/project sets up essential conditions for future dwelling/projects (often without saying or knowing it, and only occasionally in an explicit way).


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Energy & sustainability 4.0 ETCS
Javier García-Germán

This module considers the discussion on thermodynamics and sustainability as an opportunity for architecture and urbanism to rethink its traditional apparatus: structure (spatial structure and built systems), performance (climate and use through time) and its connections and exchanges with the environment.

The aim of the course is to merge the scientific and technical knowledge with its cultural contextualization; these two tracks, the technological and the theoretical, will crisscross throughout the course to transmit a critical perspective on energy and sustainability that can propel effective applications on design.

The module overlaps seminars and studio work, offering the possibility to implement the theoretical ideas discussed during the seminar as design tools. It includes an array of guest professors – featuring not only the design fields but other disciplines such as physics, biology, ecology and applied engineering – among which speculative debate is fostered.


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Business, management & international activity 4.0 ETCS
Sacha Menz

The knowledge of management tools is an important factor that determines the quality of the education that this course offers. By these means, the architect not only becomes the project designer, but also the economic manager.

Participants will learn basic concepts of management such as value, cost, price and time, which will help adding realism to their architecture proposals and enabling them to be part of the economic debate during the building process.

This specialty is enclosed in a context determined by globalisation and deals with the experience of professional architects and companies that have spread their activity worldwide.


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Low-cost & emergency housing 3.5 ETCS
Belén Gesto

Three fourths of the world’s dwellings have been built without the presence of an architect or under any normative rule. This specialty seminar analyses the essential shelter conditions under emergency conditions.

Based on a case study approach, customs and rules capable of generating an urban environment will be withdrawn. Likewise, a specific case will be developed under real circumstances.

Specialised researchers in the processes and architecture generated in these settlements will present their contributions in diverse locations during the last decades.


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Housing projects 3.5 ETCS
Carmen Espegel

This specialty approaches the central issue of the course through the experience of professional architects that have made a significant contribution in the field of collective housing. The projects are explained regarding the intentions of the architect, as well as the conditions that determined the different paths taken from the genesis to the realization of the building.

Participants will also study the experience of several classic cases in the history of housing, explained by some of today’s greatest architects.

There will be special emphasis on the architect’s role and the necessary tools to solve common problems in the residential building process. The debate will define the integrated strategies when facing this kind of projects.


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Construction & technology 4.0 ETCS
Ignacio Fernández Solla

The aim of this course is to analyse the building as a physical system within the technical and integration systems in the design process. The theory is focused on the description of the main solutions given by architects in their most relevant buildings and the analysis of the different technical systems that make up the building.

Highly experienced professionals in housing construction and design will transmit their experience and knowledge in these fields.


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Sociology, economy & politics 3.0 ETCS
Jesús Leal

This course, which is subdivided into three other specialties, deals with housing from the disciplines that complement the other architecture-related fields. The scope of work of the three disciplines is tightly related, overlapping each other in many cases.

Sociology will include the study of residential behaviour, housing demand and characteristics, evolution and changes in households, typology and land use development, among others.

Economy will study financing and valuation, the economic impact on housing production, house emancipation and youth housing, patrimony and investment, among others.


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City sciences 3.0 ETCS
Alejandro de Miguel

Cities will attract 2.5 billion inhabitants by 2050 as stated in 2014 by the Population division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Thereby, cities will need an intensive housing development in the coming years. The key of this growth is being sustainable.

Cities are the natural ecosystem for architects but cities are a complex system difficult to be understood. This module provides the main tools to manage the complexity of the city backed by its twinned Master in City Sciences.


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Housing theory 4.0 ETCS
Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani

Based on the historical context of the 20th century housing, this course will analyse the different solutions of each time, figuring out the elements to recognize an architecture that stands away from trends and becomes a reference because of its universality.

Participants will develop their critique skills on the most relevant projects in the recent history of multi-family housing, through research and debate. Likewise, critique methods will be studied deeply to avoid superficial analysis and to be able to recognize a reasonable architecture.


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LEED

MCH includes in its program the possibility to qualify as LEED Green Associate. 

 

Energy Certification Systems are the official face of sustainable design practices. Although it offers a reductive approach to energy and architecture through checklists —such as those provided by LEED Certification Systems— it is considered necessary for participants for at least two reasons: 

 

1, It can be helpful to find a job; 2, To be critical with certification systems, you need to know them first hand.

There are multiple certification systems currently being used (BREEAM, Minergie, Calener, Líder, etc.). However, the American LEED —which stands for Leadership in Energy Environmental Design— is internationally the most well-known, which makes us chose LEED as a reference. 

 

The LEED seminar  will be led by instructor Daniel Martín. He is a LEED® Faculty™, being one of the 93 professionals —only two of them are based in Europe— trained by the USGB to teach their official higher level LEED workshops.

Study trips
There are planned trips in Madrid and abroad, where buildings subject of study, housing-related institutions and universities will be visited, accompanied by architects and/or experts.

 

Travel costs as well as hotel reservations, visits and shuttle buses are included in the tuition fee (personal expenses are not).

 

In previous editions, MCH has travelled to The Netherlands, France, United Kingdom and Switzerland. In this trip participants will have a chance to experience at first hand some of the most relevant housing buildings, architecture offices and housing-related companies.

 

In past editions, MCH has established collaboration agreements with ETH Zurich, Architectural Association in London and TU Delft, fostering the interaction between teachers and students.

 MCH final master work

Participants will have to deliver a master’s project, which will have a portfolio format and will include a selection of the projects produced during the year. It will act as their new portfolio, which adds on to their previous projects.

 

One of MCH publications, the MCH Papers 2011, is a compilation of participants’ results during that edition.

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