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How to integrate a great school of architecture?

Marie Laurent and Olivier Larere, outgoing students of preparatory year at l’Ecole Conte, reached as many other students to integrate great public architecture schools. Check out their background and their perception of the training they have just finished brilliantly.

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Why did you choose l’Ecole Conte to prepare your application to public schools of architecture?

Marie: I went to several preparatory workshops (Esam design, EAP PrepaSeine and Conte). I chose Conte, as I always do, with my intuition.

Olivier: Not being sure about my choice to get into studying architecture, I thought that going through a preparatory year would help me consolidate this choice (this was the case!). In addition, the small size of this school provides effective monitoring for each student in a friendly atmosphere.

What was your educational background before joining the prep?

Marie: I had my scientific baccalaureate in 2014 in Guadeloupe. I then went back to Paris to continue my studies, and I made a first year degree in art history and archeology at the Sorbonne Paris IV. I then headed to prep.

Olivier: I spent a scientific baccalaureate with an engineering sciences specialty.

What will you remember of that year in Conte?

Marie: I learned a lot. Until then, I followed a rather theoretical path, and the workshop is, on the contrary, rather practice-oriented. This allowed me to develop my practice of drawing, sculpture and especially to discover techniques that I had never used like watercolor; or rediscover the techniques that I had not used for years as acrylic. In short, I have developed my artistic side. Moreover, I have greatly improved my general knowledge in the past two years, which was a great help during the architecture schools competitions.

Olivier: If I had to remember one thing about this year, is that to engage in studies of art / architecture, you must be very curious and love these areas. If these points gathered, the feeling of working disappears.

What contests this training allowed you to present?

Marie: I have presented many competitions: the Decorative Arts in Paris, ESAD Orleans, ENSA Normandie / La Villette / Val de Seine / Versailles, the ESAM design, Ecole Bleue, Camondo …

Olivier: I spent the assistance of Decorative Arts in Paris, as well as interviews of Paris Belleville architecture school, Paris Val de Seine and Paris La Villette.

In which school have you been admitted and which have you chosen for next year?

Marie: I was accepted almost everywhere and put on a waiting list for ENSA Normandie and La Villette. My final choice fell on the ENSA Versailles, l’Ecole Bleue and École Camondo. It was a pretty draconian choice, since I had to choose between pure architecture and interior architecture, two professions that seem exciting, but leading to a different reflection on project development. I talked a lot with Marie-Christine Noël, in charge of the preparation year at l’Ecole Conte, and other teachers. I finally followed my intuition, as I usually do, so I’m going to Camondo next year.

Olivier: I was admitted to the architecture schools of Paris Belleville and Paris La Villette. I chose the school in La Villette.

Do you think youw have succeed without this year of preparation?

Marie: Absolutely not!

Olivier: I’m sure not. My artistic culture was very poor at the end of high school and the artistic file I would have realized at this time would not have been of great quality. While waiting before the interviews for the schools I was well aware of the advantage that gave me this preparatory year compared to students who seemed completely frightened at the thought of having to scan an image or to submit an artistic record.

Where did you get the urge to do architecture?

Marie: In secondary school already, I looked eagerly decorating shows on television. Today, when I visit a building, I am attentive to its construction, structure the materials with which it was built, distribution of parts, the mixture of materials used, and I want to know who conceived and designed all this … I ask myself many questions: how he had the idea of ​​a particular shape / layout / components? More simply, I know for a long time that I want to be in this area and I am sure of that.

Olivier: I’ve always liked helping others, and I think that nothing touches us more that our everyday habitats, our workplaces, our outings spots. The architecture is ubiquitous and indispensable in our lives. It’s a job that can change many people’s life, I think in particular to social architecture.

What are your plans for the future ?

Mary: Go to Camondo, have my degree, be an interior designer, architect, designer or artist, why not … I will follow this path and see what the future holds!

Olivier: At the moment I plan to get my architectural diploma conferring the Degree grade and the architect State Diploma conferring the degree of Master, but not necessarily in the same school. For the rest I would see what those years of study have given me want to do …

Published by Collège de Paris
On 5 August 2016