The design of the Algérie class fell under the limitations of the Washington Naval Treaty and was in response to the Italian Zara class. An order for the ship was made in August 1930.
There was a single funnel to save on deck space. To help strengthen the hull it was made with a flush deck.
There was more armor to protect against bombs and torpedoes. Though less power output from the engines the hull design was better so the Algérie could go just as fast as some of the other French cruisers.
The aircraft were launched by one catapult that was located on the port side. The catapults propelled the aircraft by an explosion. There was no hanger for the aircraft. They were the Gourdou-Leseurre 810, then the Gourdou-Leseurre 830, and then the Loire-Nieuport 130.