Marc-Emile Sala (1913-1998) – Moïse-Emile Sala by his real name and commonly known as Emile Sala – is a DPLG architect active in France from 1940 to 1986.
Marc-Emile Sala was born on 29 September 1913 in Merry-la-Vallée (Yonne). His father, Albert Sala (1885-1972), known as Braïtou-Sala, was a painter and portraitist in vogue in Paris in the 1930s. Emile Sala studied architecture at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts de Paris (workshop of Roger-Henri Expert). In parallel with his studies, he worked in the office of brothers Paul (1893-1989) and Marcel) Marme (1895-1976, municipal architects of Vanves and owners of an agency particularly active in the field of housing and public facilities.
Interested in urban issues, Emile Sala also attends the Institut d'urbanisme de Paris. He graduated as an architect in 1938 (Mention Très Bien; subject: The House of a Painter) but did not start practising until 1940, following his demobilization, after having been a reserve corporal in the meteorological services of the Army.
He first moved to Grenoble (Isère), where he worked for the Bardel firm and the Perrin agency. In 1942, he opened his first personal agency in Faverges (Haute-Savoie), a small industrial town located between Annecy and Albertville. He made his first works there: construction and development of villas, mansions, chalets, agricultural and industrial buildings. In 1943, Emile Sala joined the Resistance (Plateau des Glières network).
In 1946, he obtained his accreditation as an architect-reconstructor for the Northern Department. He took part in the reconstruction of Dunkerque under the direction of Jean Niermans (1897-1989), as a group head architect and operations architect. In Dunkerque, Emile Sala also built the Marchand low-income housing group (270 housing units, in collaboration with J.-M. Morel, 1951-1954). Near the border with Belgium, he created the Casino-Hotel de Bray-Dunes (1952-1955, in collaboration with the decorator Robert Heams) and a series of individual houses including the Gratienne villa (Ghyvelde, 1951).
In 1956, Emile Sala opened an agency in Paris (rue Jean de Beauvais, 5th arrondissement). He built a number of condominiums and individual dwellings, notably in Paris, Neuilly and Versailles: building rue Jacques Dulud, Neuilly, 1955; villa Sourzac, Versailles, 1957; building rue Chalgrin, Paris 15th arrondissement, 1958. He also worked on the town plan of Constantine (Algeria, 1960).
In 1960, he married Françoise Coignet (born 1928), great-granddaughter of François Coignet (1814-1888), a pioneer of reinforced concrete in France. The difficulties he encountered in his activity prompted Emile Sala to respond to the year spent by Georges Imbert (1896-1975), a Parisian architect based in Arles since the early 1940s, who wished to find a successor. Emile Sala and his family moved to Arles in early 1961. The architect worked for a time with Georges Imbert (residence Les tamaris, Arles, 1960-1961) before succeeding him definitively in 1962. His agency is located successively 3 rue Balze then above his home, at n°15 bis rue Georges Bizet.
In Arles and in his region, Emile Sala built public facilities, including schools (Loubet School, 1972-74; Victoria Lysles School, 1978; CES Robert Morel, 1971-74), commercial and industrial premises (Institut de Régulation et d'Automation, 1970; Hôtel Le Select; extension of Hotel Primotel). The program of the detached house often allows him to give full measure of his talent as evidenced by the villas Klein (Gordes, 1966), Bank (1971-1973), Benkemoun (1971-1974) and Sala (1976-1978). He also works on collective dwelling operations: residence les Cadres (20 dwellings, date non déterminée circa 1960-1970); residence and group HLM La Souleiado (256 dwellings, 1967-1968); group HLM Trebon on behalf of the Comité Interprofessionnel du Logement (207 housing units, 1963- 1965, in collaboration with Georges Imbert); Griffeuille low-income housing group (830 housing units, 1962-1974, in collaboration with Imbert and Van Migom-Pélissier). This last operation inaugurates a series of collaborations with the agency Van Migom-Pélissier, as evidenced by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (1972-1974) and the Administrative City of Arles (1974-1979). During the 1970s, Emile Sala carried out a series of individual group housing operations with a social purpose intended for renting (La Prairie in Moulès, Mas de Provence in Raphèle, Le Gaudre in Salin-de-giraud, group in Sambuc) or for home ownership (L'Enclos vert, Tarascon, 1975-1977, in collaboration with Alain Jouve).
In the housing programs, Emile Sala sometimes works as an architect of operation, using approved models such as the Precut model developed by the Van Migom-Pélissier agency (subdivision and residence Les Célibataires, Tarascon, 1974-1975).
In addition to his work as an architect, Emile Sala carried out planning studies, including the extension of the city of Constantine (1960), the revision of the Tarascon Town Plan (1965-1969) and the creation of the Barriol ZUP in Arles (1969)in which he also built the Emmanuel Ecumenical Centre (1978, in collaboration with Alain Jouve).
Emile Sala ceased his activity in 1986.
- Interviews with Françoise Sala (2008-2010).
- AN CAC 19771065 Art 216.
- AM Arles, Fonds Marc-Emile Sala.
- AM Arles, M series: municipal buildings.
- Centre d'archives d'architecture du XXe siècle, Fonds Paul et Marcel Marme: notice de présentation, Paris, Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine, Centre d'archives d'architecture du XXe siècle/IFA, 2007.
- AN CAC 19771065 art. 216, Dossier d'agrément d'Emile Sala auprès du ministère de la Reconstruction et de l'Urbanisme.
- AM Arles, Overview of Marc-Emile Sala’s achievements.
There are currently no references to numerous printed sources, including articles on Emile Sala’s works that document his work.