Quai D'Orsay Project

Transforming the Campus to Transform Student Life

In 2015 AUP launched an ambitious campus redevelopment plan in response to our new five-year strategic plan and its renewed commitment to providing a student-centered experience. Over the past four years, we have renovated key campus buildings to create a vibrant student life center and modern classrooms equipped with the latest teaching and learning technology.

In August 2017, after lengthy negotiations with the city of Paris, AUP became the proud owner of a large, ten-story building on 69, quai d’Orsay. This once in a lifetime opportunity was even more remarkable given its location directly behind our Combes Student Life Center.

When the renovation is complete in early 2019, the resulting complex will offer ten stories of contemporary, functional spaces focused on innovative learning and student development. Moreover, the Quai d'Orsay building will connect directly to our Combes building, enabling students to seamlessly move between student life and learning activities. In short, the Quai-Combes complex will provide welcoming, state-of-the-art, functional student spaces for academic, extra-curricular and professional development activities central to student success.

We will always remain true to our original, unique, and powerful purpose: to reinvent American liberal arts education for an ever-more-international world. The new learning center at quai d’Orsay represents the culmination of this approach, where students’ combined intellectual, personal and professional growth goals are embraced as the core of all activity in the new building.

Celeste Schenck President of The American University of Paris

We are within reach of achieving our ultimate goal of a contemporary student-centered campus that maintains the intimacy of our roots. By the start of 2019, with the support of the global AUP community, a new Student Life and Learning Center will open at 69, quai d’Orsay, the jewel in the crown of our campus.


69, Quai d'Orsay: From Humble Beginnings to a Major Milestone in AUP History

The American University of Paris began as a two-year college in the basement of the American Church at 65, quai d’Orsay, the brainchild of foreign service diplomat Lloyd Delamater. He sought to create an education that graduated students equipped to “transcend the bounds of narrow nationalisms.”

The American College in Paris, later The American University of Paris; the institution survived many challenges over 55 years, but never relinquished this vision, so critical then and even more timely now. It is somehow fitting that just two buildings removed from its original location, AUP will create a space for the best of modern pedagogy and student-centered learning for its 1,100+ global explorer student body.

The turn of events that made 69, quai d’Orsay available at a time when it could be acquired by AUP is one that couldn’t have been imagined at any point in the first 55 years since Lloyd secured ACP’s first business address, and a venue for part of its initial operations, in the American Church at 65, quai d’Orsay. Not simply that it is an address on the quai, midway between Pont de l’Alma and Invalides—a street known by name to any person well-informed about diplomacy and international relations but, that its lot abuts the one on which the AUP building on rue du Colonel Combes stands! Meaning the two premises can be linked. I’ll leave it to AUP to tell what they are going to do with the opportunity they now have.

Russell Lee ACP Inaugural Class

Bringing it All Together

Located directly behind our Combes building, this new site provides an unprecedented opportunity to create our largest campus facility while consolidating our presence in the heart of the 7th arrondissement of Paris. As we conjoin these two sites and renovate the Quai d’Orsay building, we invite you to follow our journey on the Quai Blog.

The combined Quai-Combes site will offer over 3,500 square meters dedicated to learning, teaching, study, research, student initiatives and campus life. The two buildings will be connected at ground level, allowing students to move freely between the learning side and the student life side of our new complex. Between the two buildings will sit an elegant reading room with a glass roof providing natural light and a view onto a luxuriant vertical garden.

Moving up through the Quai d'Orsay building, students will find four floors of academic and career support services blended with study space. Faculty will find assistance in generating new curricular and pedagogical approaches in the new Teaching and Learning Center location. A variety of custom-designed study spaces will offer a full range of options for individual and group work.                                            

The upper floors of the building will feature state-of-the-art learning environments, as well as housing two of our dynamic research centers, whose activities will be deeply embedded into the curriculum. On the top floor, the Omid and Gisel Kordestani Conference Center with astounding views over Paris’ Right Bank will provide a fitting location for high-profile campus events.