Galvin Architects Charlottesville Architecture Charlottesville

Architectural Rendering

Watercolors and Pencil Sketches by Kathleen M. Galvin



A master carpenter in a Shaker community once told his apprentice to “make a chair as if an angel were to sit on it.” Make, in this case embodies both craft and design. The purpose of the chair is functional but radically inspired. Applying both the logic and spirit of the master’s imperative to what we do as a profession gives rise to a potential “first” principle. Make places where children can flourish and grow into discerning, responsible adults. This is a qualitative premise. By endeavoring to make places that can sustain both human and natural environments, nurture individuals from birth to death and foster active political and cultural life (i.e. the “polis”), we are compelled to be interdisciplinary in our approach and informed—indeed inspired by—the context within which we find ourselves. This philosophical approach to design applies to projects of all scales, be it a kitchen remodeling, a city block in-fill project, a site development proposal for a new neighborhood or a master plan for a town.