CRITICAL REVIEW


    Albert Ballu was born in 1849, in Paris. Between 1868-1872, he attended the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts, as a student of Magne and his father, Théodore Ballu, who had been awarded the Grand Prix of Rome in 1840. The latter is also the one who inspires the younger Albert his passion for practicing architecture, especially for restoring historical monuments. Throughout his career, Albert Ballu wins over 10 public architectural competitions, both in France and in Belgium, as well as in Romania and Algeria. He is known for the public buildings he designed, but especially for his career in restoration, occupying positions such as Chief Architect of Historical Monuments in Algeria, Inspector General of Museums for Historical Monuments in Algeria, and Architect of the Ministère du Beaux-Arts in France, Historical Monuments Department. His life’s work is rewarded with numerous awards and medals at universal fairs and exhibitions. In 1886, Albert Ballu is named Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour, and later on, in 1900, he is given the higher distinction of Officer. 
    In Romania, the architect is known for designing the Palace of Justice in Bucharest (1887), a work that he was tasked with as a result of the reputation he had already acquired by winning so many competitions for public buildings, and especially because he had designed a building having the same function, in Charleroi, Belgium, a few years before. For this project, King Carol I awarded him with the distinction of Commander of the Romanian Crown, in 1897. (Florentina Matache, 2015).
 


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    BIOGRAPHY


    (Paris, 1849 - 1939)

    Academic/specialized studies:
    1866 - Bachelor of Letters;
    1867 - Bachelor of Science;
    1868-1872 - École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France.

    Professional Activity (affiliations, administrative positions, committees):
    1872-1884 - Inspector of the reconstruction works for Hotel de Ville, Paris, France;
    1889 - Chief Architect of Historical Monuments in Algeria;
    1879 - Arhitect of Ministère du Beaux-Arts (Historical Monuments);
    1899 - Inspector General of Museums for Historical Monuments in Algeria.
     


    PROJECTS


    Completed Projects
    Architectural Projects:
    1875-1881 - Palace of Justice, Charleroi, Belgium;
    1886 - Completing Saint Philippe Cathedral in Alger, Algeria;
    1887 - Palace of Justice, Ion Mincu, work site chief architect, Bucharest;
    1889 - Argentina’s Pavilion at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, France;
    1889 - Algeria’s Pavilion at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, France;
    1889 - Pavillion of the Kingdom of Siam (Thailand) at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, France (together with Chancel);
    1899 - Pavillion of a restaurant on Champs Élysées, Paris, France;
    1900 - Algeria’s Pavilion at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, France;
    ? - Casino in Biskra.

    Restoration Projects:
    1883 - Church of Aregno, Corsica, France;
    1885 - Church of Saint-Florent, Corsica, France;
    1885 - Churce of Lamballe, France;
    ? - Cathedral in Aix;
    ? - Monument in Tirman.

    Competitions, Exhibitions and Shows: 
    1887 - Participation in Salon d'Architecture, with works Mosquée de Sidi Ramdan, à Alger and Église de Fenioux (Charente Inférieur) - surveys, France.

    Editorial Activity:
    Conference - Monuments antiques de lʼAlgérie, Trocadero, Paris, France.

    Awards and Distinctions:
    1874-1884 - Medals 1, 2 and 3 for taking part in the Salon, France;
    1875 - 1st Prize, participation in the contest for the Palace of Justice in Charleroi, Belgium;
    1875-1893 - Winner in 10 public competitions he takes part in;
    1884 - the Duc award (within the Institute), for the project completed for the Palace of Justice in Charleroi;
    1885 - 1st Medal, participation at the Universal Exhibition in Anvers, Belgium;
    1886 - Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour;
    1888 - the Duc award (within the Institute) for the project completed for the Palace of Justice in Bucharest;
    1889 - Gold Medal at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, Argentina’s Pavillon;
    1892 - Officer of the French Academy;
    1897 - 1st Medal, the Universal Exhibition in Anvers, Belgium;
    1897 - Commander of the Romanian Crown;
    1900 - Officer of the French Legion of Honour;
    1905 - Antoine Nicolas Bailly Award (within the Institute), for the project Ruines de Timgad.
     


    BIBLIOGRAPHY


    Bibliography Archive:
    A.N.F. (Archives Nationales de France), Base de données Léonore: dossiers de titulaires de la Légion d'honneur, 1800-1976, „Albert Ballu” File.
    The Documentation Centre of Musée dʼOrsay, File Expositions Universelles 1889 - Pavilions Etranger.
     
    Books:
    CONSTANTIN, Paul, Dicționar universal al arhitecților, București, Editura Științifică și Enciclopedică, 1986.
    PENANRUN, David de, ROUX et DELAIRE, 1793-1907 Les Architectes Élèves de l'École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, Librairie de la Construction Moderne, 1907.
     
    Journal Articles:
    La construction moderne, Librairie de la Construction moderne, Paris, France.