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2019 Theme: Biomimicry

With a history dating back to 1921, the Fontainebleau Schools have hosted over 10,000 international students of music, composition, fine arts, and architecture. This intensive summer session is open to architecture students who are interested in the traditional media of visual and narrative communication, and who want to explore new ways of combining architectural traditions with contemporary experimental urbanism and landscape design. 

Architecture students
In Fontainebleau, workshops, lectures, visits and studios will be organized. Formal art disciplines such as drawing, watercolor, graphic design and theatre design will be practiced during the session.

Highlights of the Session Include

  • 5 days of study in Paris
  • 4 week-long studios in Fontainebleau
  • 4 days tour to architectural sites in France

Dates and Basic Information

The 2019 Summer Session runs July 3 - August 9, 2019.

Accommodation and Meals

You will be lodged within walking distance from the Chateau, either in a dormitory or with a French family. Monday through Friday, breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided — other meals are on your own. For more details about accommodations, travel to Fontainebleau, and more see Info for Students.


The program for architects begins in Paris with seminars and visits over 5 days, which will prepare the students for the following weeks in Fontainebleau. During these 4 weeks, workshops, lectures, visits and studios will be in and around the Chateau Fontainebleau. A 4-day final trip around the French countryside will acquaint students with some of the finest masterpieces of French art and architecture, both historic and contemporary.


Architecture students
Located 60 kilometers southeast of Paris, the Chateau Fontainebleau is designated as a Unesco World Heritage site. The Chateau, a former residence of both kings and emperors, was built on the premises of a royal hunting lodge erected prior to the 12th century. For over 700 years the site has displayed the most glowing example of French architecture, sculpture, painting, decorating and landscaping. This serves to justify the title that Napoleon gave to the Chateau: “The House of the Centuries.” Student housing and restaurants are in the town of Fontainebleau, which is surrounded by one of the most beautiful forests in France.


Since 1923, The Fontainebleau Schools have brought together different artistic disciplines in order to explore new ways of seeing, thinking and making architecture. The presence of the American Conservatory represents a remarkable opportunity for the design students to explore the relationship between architecture and music, develop collaborative projects with composers, or simply enjoy listening to rehearsals and concerts. Architecture and music students live, dine, and work together. Housing and meals are provided within walking distance from the Chateau. In addition to artistic pursuits, a variety of French social, cultural activities are arranged for both architecture and music students.

Student Selection

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Students are recruited from around the world with a majority coming from US Universities. Selection criteria are based on application materials, portfolio works and references. Each year the school selects between 15 and 25 Fine Arts students with diverse backgrounds and aptitudes. The common denominator is an ability to conceptualize and to communicate easily through drawing and visual media.


The program is open to International and American graduate students in architecture or related arts, to undergraduate students with outstanding portfolios in architectural design and also to young professionals, five or less years out of school. Enrollment is limited to 25 full time students for the 5½ weeks.


Architecture students
Most universities grant academic credits for courses offered at Fontainebleau — each institution determines the number of credits. Fontainebleau issues a certificate at the end of the program. School credit value in the US has varied between institutions and students. Each of the first four weeks includes 1.0 studio credit, 30 hours/week and 0.3 lecture or field trip credits, 5 hours/week. The field trips are worth 0.8 credit. The total credit value has been estimated at 6.0 units. Transcripts are furnished to the students at their request or at the request of their institutions.


All courses and design studios are held in English, but French is often spoken and translated during lectures, visits and juries.

The First Prize Fellowship

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Architecture students
Architecture students, photo Anne Scheou
Culminating the five-week program, the “Premier Prix de l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Fontainebleau” will be awarded. This Fellowship gives the recipient the opportunity to join the faculty during the following summer session as a teaching assistant and subsequently to spend three months in the heart of Paris with a studio at the Cité Internationale des Arts. Previous Premier Prix recipients include Ron Witte ('83), Tom Sheehan ('85), Christine Reinke ('88), Paul Lewis ('91), Amanda Sachs ('99), Garth Goldstein ('04), Nicholas Quiring ('05), Ben Martinson ('06), Chiew-Hong Tan ('07) and Wendy Fok ('08). Other Fontainebleau alumni include Charles Moore ('56), William Turnbull ('56) and Tony Tappe.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Generous scholarships are available based on merit and the quality of the application materials submitted.

Watch a trailer for an upcoming film about Fontainebleau



Please note that the faculty is subject to change.

Anthony Béchu
Director, École des Beaux-Arts
Anthony Béchu
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“Born in 1950, Anthony Bechu, architect DPLG, graduated in 1976 from the “Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts”, and then obtained a Masters Degree in History and Historical Monuments Conservation at the “Ecole de Chaillot” in 1981. He is an active member in the Paris Academy of Architecture, the Architectural Heritage Association, and the National Academy of Technologies of France. He tought at the École Spéciale des Travaux Publics (ESTP) and is the Director of the Fontainebleau American schools. He was recently given the title of "Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres".

Passionate about history and the identity of places, his contemporary architectural research finds its sources in the analysis and comprehension of cultures, morphologies and context. 
Among his most remarkable works, mention may be made of the D2 tower in Paris la Défense, the rehabilitation of the Hôtel Dieu in Marseille; or the university of Chinese elites in Beijing.

His belief is the importance to ‘relink histories’ : acknowledge and process the past to find innovative eco-responsible regenerative strategies that answer at best to today’s need without compromising our future needs.” ■

Antonio Frausto
Antonio Frausto
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Born in Mexico, Antonio Frausto followed a family tradition in studying both architecture and fine arts. He graduated from Mexico National University and has developed both activities through various art exhibitions and architectural projects. In 2003, he joined Arte Charpentier in Paris to contribute to international competitions.He has been teaching at Mexico University, and is presently visiting teacher at Paris-Belleville Architecture School. He is also leading “Arte Dialogue”, an exchange media between architects and visual arts. ■

Amandine Gallienne
Anne-Françoise Jumeau
Jean-Guy Lecat
Jean-Guy Lecat
Scene Designer
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Jean-Guy Lecat has been a theatre and set designer for over 35 years; he has taken part in the design, transformation, and creation of more than 200 theatres around the world. As a design consultant, he has worked with many architects, including Frank Gehry, on projects in France, Portugal, Norway, the United States, England, and Italy. As a set designer, he also has an international reputation, having designed sets for productions all over Europe. In addition, Jean-Guy runs international theatre-design workshops which draw directors, architects, set-designers, and students. ■

Pablo Lorenzino
Pablo Lorenzino
Urban Architect
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Born in Argentina in 1962, Pablo Lorenzino is a talented architect. He has worked with Jean Gino Valle, Jean Paul Viguier, Jean François Jodry Professor in the University of Buenos Aires between 1991 and 1995 (Architectural Design 4th and 6th year school), he is now working in France in the office of Anthony Bechu, and has been an Assistant Professor at ESTP University (Paris State Engineering School). He has been teaching at Fontainebleau since 2004. ■

Mireille Roddier
Mireille Roddier
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Mireille Roddier holds an M.Arch from the University of California Berkeley and has practiced and built in the Bay Area. She received the William B. Sanders Fellowship from the University of Michigan where she became an assistant professor. Winner of the Gabriel Prize 2000, her drawings, watercolors and renderings have been included in numerous architectural publications and exhibits. ■

Anne Scheou
Anne Scheou
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Anne Scheou is a licensed architect with a practice in Paris. She received a Master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design where she studied as a Fulbright scholar. Her professional work began in Tokyo where she worked under Itsuko Hasegawa before joining Shigeru Ban’s office as a senior architect and project manager. She has   collaborated on the design and development of several cultural facilities and housing projects in both Japan and France, notably the Centre Pompidou in Metz.  While living in Japan she conducted architecture workshops and design studios at Meiji University as an adjunct professor. In France, she has taught at the ENSA of Paris-La Villette, the ENSA of Versailles, the Ecole Speciale d’Architecture and the ENSA of Bretagne. She is an associate professor currently teaching introductory design studio and thesis students at the ENSA of Nancy. ■

Nicholas Stanos
Daniel Vaniche
Daniel Vaniche
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Daniel Vaniche is a graduate of the École Polytechnique, and also graduated from the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées and the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville. He has worked for several years with Marc Mimram and especially has been the project manager of many significant European projects, including the Solférino Bridge in Paris (between the Louvre and Orsay museums). His works as engineer and designer have most of the time been a partnership with major architects over Europe, Africa and also Asia.  He is professor of Architecture at the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris. ■

Guest Teachers

Vincent Cochet
Vincent Droguet
Chief Curator
Rachid Khimoune
Bertrand Lemoine
Urban Architect
Philippe Niez
Landscape Architect
Patrick Ponsot
Architect ACMH
Jean-Pierre Porcher


Apply for the Summer Session 2019 

We wil begin accepting applications for the 2019 Summer Session January 1 to March 1, 2019 Click here to apply. Questions? Contact us at

You must submit the following:

  • CV/Résumé with contact info and previous schools and experience
  • A portfolio with at least 3 hand drawings and 1 comprehensive architecture project in A4 landscape format
  • Official transcript of academic record from your university
  • 1 letter of recommendation
  • 1 passport-style photo
  • Non-refundable application fee of $75

If admitted, tuition is due by June 15, 2019 by check payable to Fontainebleau Associations, sent to:

Fontainebleau Associations
PO Box 66
Wayne, PA 19087


Fees for the full session are $4,500 and includes lodging, meals and excursions/visits, instruction, and some materials. Meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) are served 5 days a week. The fee also includes room and board during the travel portion. The fee does not include travel to France. Full scholarships are available based on merit.


In the US please contact our American representative Nicholas Stanos (tel: 917-620-8595)

Outside of the US, please contact our French representative Catherine Delloye (tel. +33 (0)6 07 82 28 71)