Born in Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire, he studied with Honoré Daumet at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He received the first Prix de Rome, awarded him in 1880 on the basis of a design for a hospital for sick children along the Mediterranean Sea. Consequently, he became a member of the French Academy in Rome, staying there from 1881 until 1884.
He supervised the work of three other architects at the 1897-1900 Grand Palais, and worked at the Petit Palais from 1896 until 1900. He was elected to membership in the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1902. Girault designed the Royal Galleries of Ostend, built from 1902-1906. In 1905 he was chosen by Leopold II of Belgium to design the Arcades du Cinquantenaire in Brussels; also for Brussels, he designed the Royal Museum for Central Africa, begun in 1904 and finished in 1910.
Girault died in Paris in 1932.
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