The design for the Maison internationale was entrusted to the American architect Jean-Frédéric Larson in 1933. He was inspired by classic French architecture, in particular the château de Fontainebleau, to create a building in the “néo-Louis XIII” style. It covers a monumental 23,000 m2 and it made up of two symmetrical entrance pavilions, a main courtyard and a central building that is flanked by two wings.
Major renovation works was carried out between 2019 and 2022 as a part of the State-Region planning contract to improve the reception, comfort and safety of users.
The Maison internationale was built in the 1930s. It was the fourth of its type to see the light of day after those of New York (1924), Berkeley (1930) et Chicago (1932). It was financed thanks to a donation from the American philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Junior. After having dedicated a part of his fortune to the restauration of Château Fontainebleau and the Palace of Versailles he became interested in the Cité internationale. The idea was to build a common space for all of the buildings to promote meetings and mixing. The building was inaugurated in 1936.
Since 1976, the west wing of the Maison internationale is entirely dedicated to housing the Cité internationale’s residents, under the name of Résidence Robert Garric.
Together with the Residence André Honnorat, the Residence Robert Garric now forms the International Short Stay Centre. The mission of the centre is to encourage meetings and exchanges between residents of all nationalities, origins, languages and cultures. It welcomes students, teachers and researchers for stays lasting from 3 days to 10 months. Residents are accepted on the basis of their academic activities, motivations and income, depending on the availability of accommodation.
The Maison Internationale is managed by the Fondation nationale Cité internationale universitaire de Paris.