Franco American Study Day on May 29, 2015

By Jacqueline Mainguy.

The idea for this gathering germinated when Michèle le Menestrel-Ullrich met with Catherine Graindorge, Director of Studies and Research at the Ecole de Chaillot. They developed and organized todays program with the active assistance of Florence Jeanjean for RMH Prize and Lydie Fouilloux for the Ecole de Chaillot. I hasten to thank them all.

Our school has strong links with this Organization since 1990, after a $25,000 prize was awarded to an architect working in the field of patrimony. This Prize is attributed one year to a French architect; the next year to an American. It offers a study period in France or in America on a patrimonial subject. To date, there have been 26 Fellows and 2 Scholars of whom 12 had a degree from the Ecole de Chaillot.

Today we will be given the opportunity to hear 11 Fellows and Scholars present the work they carried out during their Prize study. Two Fellows came especially from the USA to be here today.

For the elaboration of our program, they were asked to present their research project; for some in the USA for others in France, to define their initial objectives and stakes, to analyse the rewards of the experience and explain in what ways this research program established, confirmed and oriented their professional practices.

Among todays speakers and personalities who gave support our meeting and who will share their experiences with us, I would especially like to thank Mr. Philip Frayne, Minister-Cousellor for Public Affairs, from the American Embassy in France who will open this afternoons’ session, and Mr. Philippe Belaval, President of the Caisse des Monuments Nationaux, member of the RMHP Jury who will put the mondialization of patrimony into perspective. Mr. Alain Marinos, Inspecteur Général des Monuments Historiques, member of the RMH P Jury, will share his thoughts on patrimonies and cultures.

The role of the RMH Prize is essential for architects working on patrimony. For 26 years now it has played a large role in Franco-American exchanges.

Todays study program should illuminate the combined research work concerning patrimony thanks to the RMH Prize, to suggest new themes for future research projects and for a better diffusion of their accomplishments and to renew them in coming years. Today has its place at the crux of the Ecole de Chaillots’ multiple actions which are research, the USA, training of AVE
and international.

On the international scene, in many countries, the Ecole de Chaillot is an active participant in the training of architects who wish to specialize in the field of patrimony. It pursues its implication with partnerships in Bulgaria, in Morocco and in Cambodia and leads workshops in Italy, Greece
and China. There are approximately 130 non-French students here at Chaillot in France or at other institutions with whom Chaillot collaborates closely.

As for research in 2013 the Ecole created an activity, under the leadership of Catherine Graindorge, which, as of now, has two facets.The first facet is to provide acces to a Doctorate in a partnership with the Université Paris 1 (Pantheon-Sorbonne) in order to convey and spread out the patrimony expertise of Chaillot. The official signature of this convention will be signed on June 23, 2015. It encompasses three doctoral schools….archeology, history and history of art and geography. It forsees the creation of a continuing-education doctorate.

The second facet is that of annual study days concerning restauration and conservation projects in all eras, on all scales and on the history of doctrines. The last day of study questioned the heritage of Viollet le Duc in teaching as well as its scientific basis. The next study day is scheduled for December and the subject will be the mastery of a work and the role of numeric tools in patrimony. The meeting will be in collaboration with the laboratory Modeles et Simulations pour l’Architecture et le Patrimoine (UMR CNRS) and the Ministère de la Culture et Communication.

After studying in Paris and Cambridge, Michèle le Menestrel-Ullrich became interested in historic preservation which gave her the incentive to start the American association Friends of Vieilles Maisons Françaises, officially incorporated in 1982 in the United States as a non-profit association. It was re-named French Heritage Society in 2002. As of 1990 Michèle le Menestrel -Ullrich founded the Richard Morris Hunt Fellowship with the American Architectural Foundation. She now co-chairs this outstanding program, designed for architects specializing in conservation and restauration of built patrimony. Since 2009, this $25,000 prize has been generously donated by Lafarge.

So now I will pass the microphone over to her…



First Richard Morris Hunt Scholar : five weeks in the USA historic industrial sites

by Isabelle Michard

RMH Prize - Isabelle Michard - 2012

It is fascinating and encouraging to see how a series of marvellous coincidences can flow from a single act. I have just had this experience!

On December 4, 2011, I applied for the Richard Morris Hunt Fellowship. As the Architecte des Batimentsde France in Moselle, I work on behalf of the the Ministry of Culture to protect the built heritage in my region. I monitor the quality and integrity of protected zones around designated historic monuments. I met the RMHF Juryand presented my research topic: the industrial heritage of Moselle, which is known for its industry, its steel factories, and especially its coal mines. Today this area is deteriorating, its landscape is polluted and abandoned, and its future is in question, to say the least. I did not receive the Fellowship, but the jury, struck by the timeliness of my topic, decided to create the first RMH Scholar Residency. I became the first Hunt Scholar and was invited to spend five weeks researching in the United States.
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Conference in Paris Belleville, May 29


“Heritage Preservation in the USA and in the International Field.”
by Liz Newman (RMHF 1999) Portland – Maine and Yves Patrick Deflandre (RMHF 1997) New York

As conclusion of the RMHF Seminar 2012 “Regards Croises”, with the active support of the Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville, of the American Embassy in Paris en presence de Philip Breeden Ministre Conseiller pour les Affaires Culturelles et d’Information, the Fellows presented a lecture introduced by Jean Pierre Bobenriether, Directeur de l‘ENSA Paris-Belleville, and Jean Pierre Midant.

Through their extensive experience, both architects explain their approach to the preservation of architectural heritage. They have achieved a method for resolving the numerous contradictions found in the historic and technical analysis as well as the many economic challenges. They demonstrate that their in-depth knowledge is essential for all projects local and on international level.

Liz Newman received her degrees from both Princeton and Columbia University. She worked for 15 years in various projects for the New York’s architectural history. At present she is pursuing her activities in Maine. As Director and Consultant of The Kathmandu Valley Trust, (KVPT – New York/Nepal) she supervises the restoration of the Royal Palace with the purpose of transforming it into a Nepalese Architectural national Museum.

Yves Patrick Deflandre graduated from the Pratt Institute of New York with Historical Preservation degree. Based in New York, he has restored there and in Connecticut, many buildings highly representatives of the 19th and 20th centuries including San Patrick Cathedral. Yves Patrick devotes all energy for the New York Rose Hill Preservation Association, where he resides.

Drinks will be served after the presentation.


Isabelle Michard nominated as the first RMH scholar

Building on a tradition of reciprocity scholarly exchange between France and United States, the American Architectural Foundation and the French Heritage Society are pleased to provide the Richard Morris Hunt Scholar program an exciting, new periodic opportunity to complement the Richard Morris Hunt Fellowship

The Richard Morris Hunt Fellowship was created in 1990, at the initiative of the American Architectural Foundation and French Heritage Society, in the spirit of Richard Morris Hunt (1827-1895) first American architect to graduate from l’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. This prestigious Prize allows a French or American architect, highly recognized for his or her skills in architectural preservation, to spend six months of research on a topic which he will have defined as of a major importance in his field, in one or the other country.


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