Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Spotlight: Peter Waldman

As an Architectural History major I have been trying to find a way to integrate some of my experiences with the UVa school of Architecture into the blog! We are SO lucky to have such wonderful professors within the school and I have had great opportunities getting to take class by such elite men and woman in the field of Architecture and Architectural History. My goal is to spotlight one of my professors each week or every other and share some special stories and insight on these Charlottesville residents who spend their time working with students at UVa as well as doing their own personal research and studies outside of the classroom. 

So here we go.... Spotlighting: Peter Waldman! 

Professor Waldman first studied architecture at Princeton University from 1961-1969. Growing up in New York City gave him the eye for adventure thus leading him into the Peace Corps after his time at Princeton. Walman was stationed in Arequipa, Peru... how cool is that? 

Peter Waldman served his apprenticeship under Richard Meier for a short while and then spent most of time with Michael Graves... why do I always think about his Target line when I hear his name?!? 

Before coming to The University of Virginia, Professor Waldman taught at Princeton and Rice. Thankfully for the Charlottesville community, Peter Walman is now permenently grounded in this area! 

Professor Waldman is widly known and recognized for his architectural sucess. In 1996 he recieved the ACSA Distinguished Progessor Award. In 2002 Waldman was awared the All-University Outstanding Teaching Award... woah are we lucky or what?! And I have only mentioned a few.... this teacher rocks! 

My personal experience with Professor Waldman was within the setting of Architecture 101: Lessons on the Lawn. As a scared and architecturally speaking unprepared first year I was overwhelmed and quite confused on the first day of class when Waldman handed me a dried chili pepper and pistachio and told me to relate these objects to my life in the form of lines and dots.... take a stab at that one! But as the semester went on I leared so much about the world of design. 

This past fall I had the opportunity to re-take the class as a teaching assistant and help the first years transition into the world of architecture. I had a group of seven first years and together we explored and worked together to understand the meaning of the class! 

Near the end of the semester, Peter Waldman, takes his class out to his home, Parcel X... the home that he designed and constructed in the Charlottesville landscape. Professor Waldman describes the site as a Satyric campsite in North Garden, Virginia. What a project! Rumor has it his wife made him build another house located close by that was designed by more normal standards. I think this one would be pretty fun to live in, but you decide!

front entrance view

After wandering around the outskirts of Parcel X, we had the opportunity to walk inside the home and snap some photos. I loved the eclectic collection of books, paintings, stuffed animals, and other odds and ends. The kitchen is very unique to contemporary kitchen design. Everything is exposed, while it may appear cluttered and unorganized, the kitchen was amazing... very fun to walk though and look around! 

Really loving the way art is displayed on these concrete walls. I have always been a fan of simple sketches with a splash of color. Also the simplicity of mat and frame work well when numerous pictures are hung so close together!

Just a little piece of architecture studio sitting on a table. Waldman works to bring all his passions into Parcel X, from big architectural moves to little pieces of trace paper and chipboard. 

Just another example of all his little odds and ends....fun, right?! If you look closely you can see that the table is made of a map of Texas. I wonder if the laser cutter was used to make the imprint on the wood?

Professor Waldman has two daughers and guessing by this Dr. Seus pillow case he didn't want they to grow up too fast! On the bottom floor there are two twin beds, one for each girl. I really liked this pillow and thought it was a great addition to all the crazy things in his home.

The master bedroom is lofted onto a second floor by a set of skinny stairs. This is the only space not located on the ground level! From this ' perch' Waldman can look down upon the whole structure and see whats happening within his home! 

There is so much more I could write about Professor Waldman and I encourage all of my readers to take a look at his page on the UVa Architecture website. 

In March of 2010, Peter Waldman was named a favorite professor in the Declaration, an independent UVa newpaper. In this issue one wrote, "Every word from his mouth breaks you open like a revelation, while his sometimes smarmy quips overcome your tendency to take things too seriously. He can make you appreciate architecture like no other". 

So there you go! Professor Waldman is not one to miss out on meeting! He has done so much for the Charlottesville community and we are SO very grateful. 

Have a Wonderful Wednesday... and check back soon!  

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