Auguste de Montferrand studied architecture under Charles Percier. In 1816 he moved to Russia and settled in St. Petersburg. Here he was commissioned to design the new St. Isaac's Cathedral, whose golden dome today dominates the skyline of St. Petersburg. He oversaw the building project from 1818 until completion in 1858. In addition, he designed the "Alexander Column" in Palace Square, St. Petersburg. Regarded as an engineering wonder, the August 30,1832 erecting of the free-standing column required almost 3,000 laborers. The column is positioned so as to be perfectly aligned with the entrance to the Winter Palace and the triumphal arch.
The following year, 1833, Tsar Nicholas I commissioned him to help with the restoration of parts of the Winter Palace. De Montferrand designed the Field Marshals' Hall and the Memorial Room of Peter the Great.
Auguste de Montferrand died in St. Petersburg in 1858, the year St. Isaac's Cathedral was completed. His wife had his body returned to France where he was buried in the Cimetière de Montmartre, Paris, France.