|“||Welcome to the Academy at Point Blanc... a unique school that is much more than a school, created for boys who need more than the ordinary education system can provide. In our time we have been called a school for "problem boys", but we do not believe the term implies. There are problems and there are boys. It is our aim to separate the two||”|
—Point Blanc Academy
Point Blanc Academy is an elite school in the south of France, housed right on the French-Swiss border just above Grenoble. In the second Alex Rider novel Point Blanc, Alex Rider was sent here undercover to investigate the actions of its head teacher, Dr. Grief.
Point Blanc is located on a mountainside in the French Alps.
It was originally built as a private home for an unnamed lunatic in 1857, and became a lunatic asylum after the man died. It was taken over by the Germans in the Second World War and became a leisure centre for their senior staff. Twenty years prior to Alex's mission there, the building was bought by Dr. Grief, who then turned it into a school for the rebellious sons of the super-rich. The building is physically described as being "something between a German castle and a French chateau, straight out of a Grimm's fairy tale".
Grief describes it as being designed by the worst architect ever. The owners shot the architect after viewing it.
In 1987, after twenty years of research, Dr. Grief created sixteen clones of himself. Because they were babies at first, he had to wait fourteen years for them to become teenagers, and at the time Alex (under the alias of Alex Friend) visited the academy, they were in the process of having their appearances surgically altered to resemble the sons of rich and influential people, as a means to eventually have his clones inherit the various businesses of these people and become some of the most powerful men in the world. This was called the "Gemini Project", though came to an end when Alex uncovered his plans and escaped the academy after Grief captured and interrogated him. He uses an ironing board to snowboard down the mountain the school stands on, and warns MI6 of his plans, who then sent Alex back with the SAS to rescue the real children who were being held hostage. Grief and his assistant, Eva Stellenbosch, died when the SAS stormed the academy, and the academy is now closed.
Julius Grief and fifteen other clones of Dr. Grief attended the school to observe and copy the behaviors of the unsuspecting students.
- Alex Rider (as Alex Friend)
- Cassian James
- Dimitry Ivanov
- Hugo Vries
- James Sprintz
- Joe Canterbury
- Nicolas Marc
- Tom McMorin
- Paul Roscoe