Creative Villa

The Villa Créative: a third place at the service of the Culture, Heritage and Digital Societies axis

The Villa Créative, a new hybrid site for training, creation, innovation, experimentation and research, will open its doors in 2024. This unique space for meeting, sharing and collaborating will bring together the worlds of academia, research and entrepreneurship around the university's 'Culture, Heritage, Digital Societies' specialism.

The main site and its annex

The Villa Créative will be located on two sites:

The Pasteur site, located in the city centre, has been hosting the Festival d'Avignon's lecture series every summer since 2014. This 19th century building offers a remarkable site, with a central building of 3500 m² and one of the rare gardens in the heart of the city of Avignon of 4000m² ideally located 30 metres from the Hannah Arendt campus. It is located in the heart of a "campus district" undergoing major renovation.

The project has given rise to the desire of many organisations to become permanent residents. In view of this success, the university has allocated a 700m² annex 200m away which increases the capacity of the Villa Créative.

Spaces :
  • A pavilion reserved for research, the university's laboratories and their partners.
  • A floor totally dedicated to the Lifelong Learning Service (LLLS).
  • A Coworking space with evolving, connected furniture, adapted to collective intelligence work.
  • Training and administration areas.
  • A high-end auditorium with 80 seats for seminars and conferences.
  • An audiovisual studio for filming and colour grading.
  • Three spaces of 100 m² each for ephemeral uses (living lab, exhibitions, projections, performances, etc.). These convivial spaces are designed as meeting and sharing places for the various users of the space (academics, researchers, students, entrepreneurs, artists, general public)
  • A city brewery open to all.

The arrival of the Lifelong Learning Service (SFTLV) on this site will be part of a project to develop relations between initial and continuing education in a dynamic way for the greater benefit of the region. In addition to its catalogue, it will develop training courses related to the theme of this site and will propose new offers with partners in the ecosystem.

The vocation and missions of the Villa Créative

To stimulate project mode and collective intelligence, to facilitate new methods of experimentation, to encourage interdisciplinarity, to strengthen collaborative work with all users with different backgrounds, levels and horizons, to amplify communication around scientific news, to develop new partnerships and to participate in the influence of the Avignon cultural ecosystem.

The association "Les acteurs de la Villa Créative

Ahead of the opening, scheduled for 2024, the university has decided to set up a prefiguration association, "Les acteurs de la Villa Créative", to bring the facility to life outside its walls from 2021. This association will bring together cultural structures and partners around the project, getting them involved and building a joint local programme.

The University Research Society (SUR)

Avignon University is the first higher education establishment to carry out an initiative of this type based on a new economic development model with the creation of a university and research company (SUR).
After presenting its application to the 1st SUR PIA3 commitment committee, the University of Avignon entered the pool on 1 August 2020. The SUR guarantees Avignon Université the self-financing of the Villa Créative project. SAS Villa Immo SUR was created on 16 November 2022.

From 2024, this university research company (SUR) will be entrusted with the management of the spaces and facilities. The university is the majority shareholder, alongside public and private shareholders.

Financing :

15 M Rehabilitation of the main site - financed by the State-Region Plan Contract 2015-2020
700 K Rehabilitation of the annex - funded under the 2020 recovery plan
1,8 M€ Financing plan - carried under PIA 3 SUR

Accompanying project partners :

Banque des territoires, Caisse des dépôts et Consignation, Rising Sud (Région Sud PACA), D4 avocats, EY, Les Canaux

Permanent residents :

Festival d'Avignon
Avignon University Lifelong Learning Service
The School of New Images
Frames Festival
French Tech Grande Provence
CNAM Avignon

Project owner : Rectorat d'Aix-Marseille
Project management : Alfonso Femia Workshop
Opening : 2024

Co-design workshops

Co-design workshops entitled "Living in the Villa Créative" will be held throughout 2024, inviting lecturers, staff, students and the University's partners.


The project team :

Philippe Obert: VP Economic Development
Georges Linarès : VP Research
Anne-Lise Rosier: Cabinet Director / Project Director
Pierre Aumont : Partnership and usage scenarios engineer



Avril Boisneault - Agence Canévet & Associées -