Peter Pfau, a principal of Pfau Long Architecture, was born and raised in San Francisco, studied fine arts at CCA and architecture at UC Berkeley and Columbia (along the way he worked as a carpenter, contractor, and wood artisan). Since founding his firm in 1991, Pfau has earned a reputation as a modernist who balances conceptual rigor with a love for creating comfortable, livable spaces. Back in 2010, we asked Pfau about his architectural inspirations, favorite travel destinations, and his dream bicycle:
Visit Pfau Long Architecture to see more of his work.
Remodelista: Who are your design idols?
Peter Pfau: Aeronautical inventor Paul MacCready (above) and industrial designer Raymond Loewy.
RM: Seminal professional moment?
Pfau: Building my own house (and paying the bills) has given me a whole new perspective on my clients and their concerns.
RM: What is the most important thing you’ve learned in your career?
Pfau: To be a good listener.
RM: Must-read architecture book?
Pfau: Why Architecture Matters, by Paul Goldberger; available from Amazon.
RM: How do you get inspired?
Pfau: By spending time with my clients, spending time on the site, and doing in-depth research to understand the nature of the problem that needs to be solved (see above renovation in Stinson Beach).
RM: What are your favorite interiors stores?
RM: Favorite artists?
Pfau: Donald Judd (concrete works in Marfa, Texas, shown above), Chris Burden, and James Turrell.
RM: Favorite travel destinations?
Pfau: Japan (the countryside of Takayama); Tanzania, Africa; and Bali, Indonesia (at Amandari Ubud, shown above).
RM: Define your aesthetic.
Pfau: Honest, sensual, tectonic, timeless, calming.
RM: Dream bicycle?
Pfau: A bicycle from A.N.T. Bikes, which are made by hand in Holliston, Massachusetts.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on November 28, 2010.