Léon Hoa (1912-?) is a DETP engineer and DPLG architect of Chinese nationality, active in France from 1937 to 1952, then in China.
Léon Hoa was born on 16 September 1912 in Beijing. He completed his secondary and higher education in France, in Paris. With a baccalaureate (first and second parts validated in 1931 and 1932), Léon Hoa joined the Buildings section of the Ecole Spéciale des Travaux publics in Paris in 1932. He graduated with the DETP engineering diploma in July 1936. The previous year, in 1935, Léon Hoa had joined the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts de Paris (Jean-Baptiste Mathon workshop) to begin studies as an architect. He graduated (Mention Bien) in February 1942.
The political context led him to join Marseille, still in the Free Zone. He worked in the agencies of Gaston Castel (1886-1971) and Eugène Beaudouin (1898-1983) where he participated in the studies of the Plans d'aménagement de Marseille et de Montpellier (1943) with, among others, André Chrysochéris (born 1915). Léon Hoa also frequented Fernand Pouillon (1912-1986) and his relatives, notably Léon Pierre (1907-1967), with whom he studied the town plans of Pennes-Mirabeau, Marignane, Saint-Victoret and Châteauneuf-les-Martigues (1945). In Marseille, Léon Hoa also met Pierre Vago (1910-2002) with whom he collaborated several times.
During his studies as an architect, Léon Hoa had tried to master the work (veterinary clinic of Bièvres, Seine-et-Oise, 1937-1938, in collaboration with Utudjian) But his professional life did not really begin until after the Second World War with the reconstruction of the cities of Marseille and Arles. In 1945, he took part in the competition launched for the Old Port development plan as part of a team consisting of André Devin (1905-1983), René Egger (b 1915), Fernand Pouillon, André Dunoyer de Segonzac (b 1915) and André Chrysochéris. In the Phocean city, Léon Hoa participated in the reconstruction of the Old Port (group 4, 20 dwellings) and the city center (island 38, in collaboration with Cailleau). His involvement was more important in Arles where, under the direction of his friend the chief architect Pierre Vago, he acted as an architect of operation, in collaboration with Eugène Squélard (Trinquetaille, islets 1 and 3; Downtown, islets 26 and 27).
Apart from the Reconstruction work, the post-war years were marked by important collaborative work, including the construction of the Lycée Marseilleveyre to which Léon Hoa worked in Marseille, in 1946, under the direction of Gaston Castel or the Centres scolaires et sanitaires de Provence, to which he worked in 1945 with Léon Pierre. Pierre Vago involved Léon Hoa in several of his projects: competition for a «Garden in Aleppo» (Syria, 1946); preliminary project for the construction of the Marseille-Malpassé Building Learning Centre (1947); competition for the construction of the Arles hospital (1947, in collaboration with André Dunoyer de Segonzac and Georges Imbert); competition for the Casablanca Fair (Morocco, 1950); construction of the chapel of the Dominican convent of Monteils (Aveyron, 1951-1953).
Meanwhile, Léon Hoa, who is based in Marseilles, started his personal projects in 1945. They concern housing (development and construction of residential buildings) but also industrial architecture (Etablissements Huot et Caubarrère, 1948).
In 1952, Léon Hoa put an end to his French career by leaving for China where he carried out, among other things, important urban planning work. In 1981, he published a book on his experience in this field (HOA Léon, Rebuilding China: thirty years of urban planning (1949-1979), Paris, Editions du Moniteur, 1981).
- AN CAC 19771065 art. 126, Dossier de demande d'agrément de Léon Hoa auprès du ministère de la Reconstruction et de l'Urbanisme.
- Centre d'archives d'architecture du XXe siècle, Fonds Lurçat, Dossier 200 Ifa 299/2.
- Centre d'archives d'architecture du XXe siècle, Fonds Vago, Dossiers 064 Ifa 99/1, 064 Ifa 99/2, 064 Ifa 228, 064 Ifa 231 to 240, 064 Ifa 243/1, 064 Ifa 98/3, 064 Ifa 183/2, 064 Ifa 404/1, 064 Ifa 405/21.
- Hoa Léon, Rebuilding China: Thirty Years of Urbanism (1949-1979), Paris, Editions du Moniteur, 1981;
- Vago Pierre, An intens Lifee, Brussels, AAM, 2000, p.336.