Richard Morris Hunt Prize

The Richard Morris Hunt Prize honors the memory of the first American architect to graduate from Paris’s Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Richard Morris Hunt introduced the Beaux Arts style in the United States and was among the group of thirteen architects who founded the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1857. Hunt was a central figure in the “City Beautiful” movement.

The Richard Morris Hunt Prize (RMHP) has been fostering and supporting cross-cultural professional exchange between France and the United States since 1990. U.S. design professionals study in France, and French design professionals study in the U.S. during alternating years.

The Richard Morris Hunt Prize is an intensive and curated six-month program, divisible in two or three periods, that carries a $20,000 award for registered architects to pursue research related to contemporary challenges in historic preservation. Each year, only one Fellow is selected. However, in years where the applicant pool demonstrates exceptional merit, a Scholar may also be selected by the Jury from the Fellow candidates for a shorter five-week specialized course of research and study with a $5,000 award. As part of the RMHP experience, the Fellow/Scholar benefits from guidance and access to a network of the leading historic preservation professionals in France and the United States.

The travel and research program for the American honorees will be established and managed under the guidance of the managing team in France. In addition, the Fellow must submit a final report to the Architects Foundation and the French Heritage Society within one year of the last month of the Fellowship; the Scholar within six months. The reports are intended to respond to the current issues in contemporary architectural practice.


Applicants must:

  • Be U.S. citizens
  • Be registered architects with 5+ years work experience
  • Have a minimum of professional working proficiency speaking skills in French
  • Have the ability to travel to France for six months, spread across two or three periods.

Application criteria

Applications should demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • A proposed subject of study responding to the current issues in contemporary architectural practice
  • Academic and work experiences that prepare for undertaking of the Fellowship, and
  • How the international experience will apply to the applicant’s professional career after the Fellowship.

Application process

The 2020 Richard Morris Hunt Prize will be awarded to a French architect, selected by Les Amis du RMHP. Interested applicants must apply by July 1. Please visit for more details. Encourage eligible candidates to apply by sharing this poster!

The next American Jury will gather in Washington, D.C., in Fall 2020 to award the Richard Morris Hunt Prize to two American architects, a Fellow and a Scholar. Research travels will take place in France during 2021.

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