Helen Schneider, LEED BD+C

Why did you chose to be an architect?

I decided that I wanted to be an architect in middle school. I loved art and was good at math – so  it seemed like the obvious choice at the time. I chose to stick with architecture for entirely different reasons. My freshman year of college I took a class that revolved around walking tours of St. Louis – gentrified and impoverished neighborhoods alike. I learned that architecture and the built environment play a vital role in fostering or undermining community and culture.

Why do you live where you do?

We live at the base of Bernal Hill. It is one of the sunniest neighborhoods in the city. We can walk to a wonderful off leash dog park, an amazing weekend farmer’s market, and lots of shops and restaurants. Plus, we have great access to public transit.

Favorite work of architecture?

The Igualada Cemetery outside of Barcelona, designed by Enric Miralles and Carme Pinos, is one of my favorites. It is a beautiful, poetic project. The entire cemetery is carved out of the earth, becoming one with the surrounding landscape. The way that you move through the site and every material used emphasizes the cyclical nature of life. It is a quiet, uplifting space to remember and reflect.

Music?

Lately, I’m listening to the sound of my own voice. I recently had a baby and have started narrating my life in song. If you were to visit our house, you might think you were attending a bad musical.

Passions Outside of Work?

Hiking in the city and in the wild. Shopping at the farmer’s market. Cooking.

If you weren’t an Architect What Would you Be?

A food critic, of course!

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