Initially assistant to Guillaume Trepsat, who was head architect for Versailles, Alexandre Dufour gradually ousted him and eventually took over his role in February 1810, with the former only retaining the palace outbuildings. Dufour took part in the renovation work on the palace during the second “Grand project” from 1810 to 1812.
His work included the restoration of the facades overlooking the gardens, and notably the reconstruction of the facade of the grand Guards’ Room (now the Coronation Chamber) and the restoration of the Grand Canal, which had been dried out and used for farming during the Revolution. He contributed to discussions on plans to restore the palace, but these got no further to fruition than previous ones. In the end, Dufour had to content himself with demolishing the pavilion at the end of the Old Wing and rebuilding it (1814-1821) identically to the Gabriel Pavilion, so as to give the latter the matching counterpart it had been missing since the death of Louis XV. This pavilion now bears his name.
The architect continued to lead work at Versailles until 1832, when he was replaced by Frédéric Nepveu.