History & Positioning

In January 2021, after 10 years of gestation and constant development and maturation, a new institute was officially created at the UCLouvain in the sector of sciences and technologies (STT).

For 10 years, therefore, the UCLouvain’s Faculty of Architecture, Archtectural Engineerin, Urban Planning (also called LOCI) concurrently managed its teaching and research activities according to the three axes and groups on which research activities had traditionally been organised within the LOCI Faculty:

  • culture and habitat: theory, design, history, project
  • building technologies and architectural engineering
  • territorial development, landscape and urban planning

A clear element of distinction of the new institute in relation to the 22 other research institutes already existing within the University of Louvain – and at the level of other universities within the Walloon-Brussels Federation – is its strong relationship of mutualization of resources and methods, and of sharing of spirit and ethos, with the LOCI Faculty. LOCI and LAB work together, within a College bringing together the members of the two Board Committees, in order to manage in a coordinated manner teaching, research, continuing education and services to society in their respective fields. Two entities, two Board Committees, three sites, but a single collegial and shared objective: excellence in teaching, research and services.

From the 1st of January 2021, a new body has therefore come to modify the configuration of our scientific community, with the spirit of catalyzing and multiplying the skills of its research staff, ensuring a strong representativeness in the operating bodies of the University, but above all guaranteeing a stronger visibility of its qualities and specificities, and a solid positioning in the panorama of national and international research. Among the first tasks that the new institute began to undertake following its constitution, was the definition of

  • its mission, vision and values
  • an internal structure
  • an organization chart to be able to exploit and magnify the potential of its inter-site nature
  • a name and acronym that could well represent the richness of its tradition and its ambitions for the future

The new institute aims to coordinate, support and feed research activities in the fields of architecture, architectural engineering, urban planning, landscape and territorial development, by integrating the resources and scientific competences available on three sites: Brussels, Louvain-la-Neuve and Tournai.

Following a process of internal consultation, supported by professional advisors, the Board Committee of the institute formulated a proposal for an acronym and a name, in English and French, to its community. These were officially ratified at the SST Board Committee meeting on 18th March 2021: Louvain Research Institute for Landscape, Architecture, Built environment (LAB) (French translation : Institut de Recherche de Louvain pour le Territoire, l'Architecture, l’Environnement Construit)

A new chapter had finally begun.