LABROUSTE, Henri
(b. 1801, Paris, d. 1875, Fontainebleau)

Biography

French architect, important for his early use of iron frame construction.

Labrouste entered the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1819, won the Prix de Rome for architecture in 1824, and spent the period from 1825 to 1830 in Italy, after which he opened a studio in Paris.

He is primarily remembered for the two Parisian libraries he designed. The Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, built between 1843 and 1850, is still admired for the attractiveness and restraint of its decoration and for the sensitive use of exposed iron structural elements (columns and arches). Labrouste is also remembered for his second library project, the reading room (1860-67) of the Bibliothèque Nationale. Its roof consists of nine decorated metal domes supported by slender cast-iron columns.



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