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UPA-BUA Union Professionnelle d'Architectes
Beroepsunie Van Architecten

Willy Van Hove's biography

1891 - 1969


Willy VAN HOVE (born in Liège on 15/08/1891 - died in Nieuwpoort on 31/07/1969) is an important figure in the Belgian architectural profession.

A practising architect (we owe him in particular the Saint-Joseph church in Anderlecht) and professor of architecture at the Saint-Luc school in Saint-Gilles, he was the founder, in 1932, of the UPA-BUA (Union royale Professionnelle d'Architectes - Koninklijke Beroepsunie van Architecten1), of which he was twice chairman, from 1932 to 1934 and from 1937 to 1943.

As a result of the rapid development of the association (which in a few years became the most important association in the country) and its dynamism, he took an active part in the 'major projects' of the profession.
In 1935 he was one of the founders of the Commission for the protection of the title of architect (which prepared the 1939 law) and then in the challenge that led to the creation of the Order of Architects in 1963, of which he became a member of the National Council, nominated by the King of Belgium.

He was a member of the Board of Directors of the FAB (Fédération royale des sociétés d'Architectes de Belgique) from 1937 to 1965, and was elected president from 1951 to 1954. At the international level, he represented Belgium at the 1937 Congress of the International Union of Architects (UIA) in Moscow, where he became a member of the Board and held the post of Treasurer from 1951 to 1963. He was also Honorary General Delegate to the Liaison Committee of the Architects of the United Europe (CLAEU) which prefigured the current Architects' Council of Europe (ACE).

A member of the “Conseil supérieur de normalisation et d'urbanisation”, he was also behind the creation of the building fair, the Building documentation Centre (a prefiguration of Batibouw created in 1936 in a building located in the “rue de la Loi in Brussels”) and the publication of the General Building Catalogues (published in 1943, 1951 and 1959).
In 1954, he also built the House for Architects (now Architect's House2) in “Rue Ernest Allard” in Brussels, which he bequeathed two years later to the UPA-BUA and the FAB.     

The Van Hove Prize, an architecture prize for young graduates of Belgian architecture faculties, which the UPA-BUA organised for the first time in 1982 (for the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary) and relaunched in 2015, is dedicated to this great figure of the profession.

1.    At its creation the UPA-BUA was the Professional Union of Architects who graduated from the Saint-Luc schools in Belgium. Following the evolution of the profession and architectural education, it is now open to all architects and engineer-architect, regardless of their region, recognised diploma or type of practice.

2.    The Architect's House houses the headquarters of UPA-BUA, FAB, AriB (Architects in Brussels - the Brussels component of FAB), BVA (Beroepsvereniging van Architecten - the Flemish component of FAB), CIAUD-ICASD (Centre d'Information en Architecture, Urbanisme et Design) and CERAA (Centre d'Etude, de Recherche et d'Action en Architecture).