ENSA Nantes is a public higher education and research institution in Nantes, France, reporting to the Ministry of Culture and Communication. It is one of the twenty French écoles nationales supérieures d’architecture (national schools of architecture) that prepare students for the state diploma in Architecture. Alone or in conjunction with the University of Nantes, it also provides other post-graduate courses in naval architecture and scenography (DPEA), urban planning (Master 2 “Villes et Territoires”, with UFR/Education and Research Unit “Droit et l’Institut de géographie”) and architectural and urban environments (Master’s, PhD).
This institution, where experimentation and training develop in sync, is both a school and a display of a global city within the city, its outreach extending far beyond the Loire river that it overlooks.
In terms of research, ENSA is part of the Laboratoire Ambiances Architectures Urbanités (Urban architectural environments laboratory). A joint research unit (UMR) pool the strengths and resources of four institutions (the national research centre CNRS, the Grenoble and Nantes Schools of Architecture and Centrale Nantes) around a common theme: The perceptible dimension of atmospheres and of the environment.
This work on the concepts of atmospheres and urban conditions in their relationship with architecture and town planning makes the AAU Laboratory an important player in architectural and urban research.