Mar 20th, 2019, 03:49 PM

Quai d'Orsay Building Finally Opens

By Delton Howard
Ground floor of the new 69 Quai d'Orsay building. Image Credits: Anis Anghel
AUP's Student Life and Learning Center is officially unveiled.

After a year and a half of construction on the AUP Student Life and Learning Center at 69 Quai d'Orsay, the building is finally opening, kicking off a new era at AUP. To mark this momentous occasion, there will be three rounds of unveiling ceremonies. Come take a look at all nine stories of AUP’s beautiful new facility at the friends' and family opening on Thursday, March 21, 2019.

69 Quai d'Orsay was acquired by AUP in August of 2017, to the tune of €18 million for both the purchase and renovation of the nine-floor building at this historic address, on the left bank of the Seine. Renovations have been ongoing; the Student Life Center was originally set to have opened in winter 2019. Whilst to outside observers, it appeared that progress was running smoothly, construction hit some major bumps along the way. University leadership notified its students, parents, and alumni in early winter 2018 that the unveiling would be delayed until March 2019. The administration was faced with having to clear unexpectedly high amounts of asbestos, reinforce foundations, and demolish a few neighboring buildings pushed the opening date back by several months.

The Student Center will feature a wide variety of classrooms, study rooms, a new library, a 70 square meter vertical garden, a sunlit reading room, and much, much more.

The view from the newly renovated building's library, Image Credit: Anis Anghel

"It’s a great opportunity to gather all the services into one location," said Thomas Costa-Lopez, a Global Communications Major who graduated in December 2018. "It will be a nice addition to the feeling of what AUP is, a dynamic community. I definitely feel that it will be a place where all of the students will love to exchange and be together."

Founded in 1962, the American College of Paris (ACP), as it was then known, started as a new project in a series of rented rooms in the basement of the American Church of Paris, with an entering class of 100 students. 57 years later, the American University of Paris now comprises more than seven buildings: Combes Student Life Center, Quai d'Orsay Learning Commons, La Tour Mauborg Administration Building, several more classroom and faculty office buildings, and a Grenelle Teaching and Mentoring Center, while one building, 9 Rue Montessuy is being renovated. 

AUP's New Map Layout, Image Credit: American University of Paris

"I think that the Quai being connected to the Combes Student Life Center brings more people together and brings more space for people to work together. It helps us to build our community and I think that students, staff, faculty, the entire community are going to benefit from it," said Kevin Fore, Dean of Undergraduate Student Development. "For me, the biggest advantage is that it brings the community together in a new place as the geographical heart of the campus. It means more people working together and coming together around projects and ideas."

The extravagant three-part event features an open bar and buffet for those that attend. AUP alumna and singer, KEEKA, will be performing at the second session of the event, and Blue Dahlia, a Brooklyn-based band will show off their singing talents during the third event.

Jurgen Hecker, AUP professor of journalism and video production, is delighted that AUP student media will once again be granted its own independent, exclusive club space. The last time student media had a place to call home was in the Bosquet building, which closed in 2014. 

"Quai d'Orsay is a prestigious address, the same address as the French foreign ministry, so instead of little streets in the seventh that no one has ever heard of, that’s an address that, by its prestige, will have an impact and will help students and staff feel even more privileged to go to this school. In terms of teaching, modern in my book is good, because that means excellent infrastructure, WiFi, sound installation, and all those things that are good for video."

Peacock Plume will be reporting all the festivities live from the event on the fourth floor.

For those who have already RSVP'd to the event, make sure to bring your AUP ID card to the event to enter!

Written by the Peacock Plume Newsroom