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Henri Labrouste


(Pierre François) Henri Labrouste (11 May 1801–24 June 1875) was a French architect from the famous École des Beaux Arts school of architecture. After having stayed for six year in Rome, Labrouste opened an architectural training workshop, which quickly became the center of the Rationalist view. He was noted for his use of iron frame construction, and was one of the first to realize the importance of its use.

Born 11 May 1801 in Paris, Labrouste entered Collège Sainte-Barbe as a student in 1809. He was then admitted to the second class in the Royal School of Beaux Arts to the Lebas-Vaudoyer workshop in 1819. In 1820, he was promoted to the first class. Competing for the Grand Prix, Labrouste took second place behind the Palais de Justice by Blouet in 1821. In 1823 he won the departmental prize, and worked as a lieutenant-inspector (sous-inspecteur) under the direction of Godde during the construction of Saint-Pierre-du-Gros-Caillou. 1824 was a turning point in Labrouste's life, as he won the competition with a design of a Supreme Court of Appeals. In November he left Paris for Italy, visiting Torino, Milan, Lodi, Piacenza, Parme, Modène, Bologne, Florence, and Arezzo.

His buildings include:

Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, built between 1843 and 1850 in Paris. 
The Reading Room of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Rue Richelieu, Paris and built between 1862 and 1868.