Peter Pfau was born and raised in San Francisco and spent his early life training in the fine arts —later transitioning into wood work , carpentry and contracting. His post- secondary eduction began at the California College of Arts, where he studied fine arts. He later earned his BA with honors from UC Berkeley, and then went on to receive a Master of Architecture from Columbia University.
In 1986 Peter left New York and returned to the Bay Area and became a partner in the newly formed office: Holt Hinshaw Pfau Jones. This firm was regarded as highly successful despite its short 6 year life-span. The firm’s rise to fame can be accredited to their numerous architectural awards, high rankings in architectural competitions and the publication of its architectural projects (i.e. the Astronauts Memorial at Kennedy Space Center).
In 1991 Peter left Holt Hinshaw Pfau Jones to form his own practice —Pfau Architecture. His firm was founded on the premise that more studio-like organization can produce high quality work through emphasis and intense focus on a few selected projects. This philosophy led to his reputation as a modernist who manages to balance conceptual rigor with the love for building.
Peter’s 20 year career is marked with distinctions, such as the 2003 “Designer of the Year” award from Contract magazine. Peter was also highly regarded as an academic and worked as an adjunct professor at the California College of Arts and is a frequent architectural juror at various other academic institutions. He was also a National Peer Reviewer for the General Service Administration’s Design Excellence program, an active promoter of the May design community, and a frequent participant in design competitions, experiments, symposiums, installations and exhibitions.
Pfau, Peter. "Peter W. Pfau, FAIA, LEED AP." Pfau Long Architecture. http://www.pfaulong.com (accessed December 5, 2012).