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Quai Building

Quai d'Orsay

An American University on the Quai d’Orsay

When you say “Quai d’Orsay” in France, everyone understands that you’re talking about the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But soon that phrase will have another meaning: the Quai d’Orsay is the future center of The American University of Paris campus!

In August 2017 – after much searching and lengthy negotiations – AUP became the proud owner of a large, ten floor building located at 69, quai d’Orsay. Situated directly behind our Combes Student Life Center, the new building will connect to to Combes for a seamless student life and learning experience.

In a way, this is a return to our roots. At our founding more than 55 years ago, the American University of Paris occupied modest quarters in the basement of the American Church at 65, quai d’Orsay. We’ve come a long way since then.

At our newest campus site, students will find five floors of bright, welcoming space for study, collaboration and academic advising. Staff will be on hand to provide assistance with research, writing and technology, and to help students plan their professional careers.

The upper floors will house classrooms, high-profile research centers and – on the top floor – a large conference room. Students, staff and faculty will be able to move freely between the Quai d’Orsay and Combes buildings through a walkway on the ground floor. This consolidated facility will become the true heart of our urban campus.

We’re looking forward to moving into our new home, but before we can enjoy the view over the river, we have some work to do!

It will take fourteen months of construction to convert this former office building into a Learning Center. This will require major demolition and structural work, after which we will replace all the windows, electricals, plumbing, ventilation systems, heating systems, elevators, flooring, ceilings and waterproofing. We’re going to clean the façade. We’re going to put in lots of glass walls to create a luminous, open environment. We’ll build an elegant reading room on the ground floor, adorned with a glass ceiling. We’ll create green roofs and plant a lush vertical garden on the façade of the courtyard building, above the main reading room.

It’s a big project. And we’re going to need input from across the campus, as we imagine new blended services and choose great furniture that will support different study styles. We must also thank the users of the Combes building for their patience over the coming months – demolition is going to be noisy. But as the French say, you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs!

Keep your eye on this blog over the coming year for regular construction updates, photos, and building site anecdotes!