University of Virginia: School of Architecture

John Quale

Associate Professor
Director of the Graduate Architecture Program
John Quale
Discipline Architecture
Education M.Arch., University of Virginia; B.A., American University School of International Service
Phone 434-924-6450
Office 315 Campbell Hall

Personal Statement

John Quale, LEED AP BD+C and Assoc. AIA, is the Director of the Graduate Architecture program at the University of Virginia School of Architecture.  He initiated and serves as Director of the ecoMOD / ecoREMOD project (www.ecomod.virginia.edu), an interdisciplinary effort to design, build and evaluate prefabricated and renovated housing units for affordable housing organizations.  ecoMOD has received numerous national and international awards, including the 2013 Architect Magazine R+D Award, the USGBC Excellence in Green Building Curriculum Award, the NCARB Grand Prize, and finalist status for the UN World Habitat Award.  Quale is currently serving a three-year term on the U.S. Green Building Council’s Board of Directors.

Quale was a principal investigator of a $2.45 million grant to commercialize one of the ecoMOD homes (originally designed and built by students for Habitat for Humanity).  A modular homebuilder recently completed Passive House Standard versions of the design for two affordable housing organizations in Virginia. He has expertise in sustainable design, prefabrication, the environmental impact of construction, and collaborative and integrated design.

During 2010, he was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Tokyo, Japan and the Thomas Jefferson Fellow at Downing College, Cambridge University, U.K.  Quale teaches architectural design studios, design / build studios and building technology courses, and has expertise in sustainable design, affordable housing, prefabrication, the environmental impact of construction, the evaluation of buildings and design / build projects. Quale has received several teaching awards, including the 2008 University of Virginia Alumni Board of Trustees Teaching Award and a Seven Society Teaching Award in 2002.  In 2010, he was the University of Virginia nominee for Carnegie / CASE U.S. Professor of the Year Award. 

Quale and / or his work has appeared in various publications including Metropolis Magazine, Architect Magazine, Architectural Record, Dwell, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Environmental Building News, Sustain OSC Magazine (UK), and Hors Serie: Science et Vie (France) as well as on CNN’s “Global Challenges” show, HGTV, Virginia Public Radio, and various local and regional television programs.

He has delivered keynote addresses and invited lectures at various venues, including the National Building Museum, the Princeton University, Cornell University, the Architectural Association (U.K.), Oxford University, Cambridge University, University of Tokyo, University of Michigan, U.S. Green Building Council’s GreenBuild conference, and many other universities and conferences.  In addition the USGBC Board of Directors, he currently serves on the Architectural Review Board of Albemarle County, as was on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Sustainable Building Network.

He served on the jury of the 2007 AIA Top Ten Green Projects Award, and on the international jury for the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company’s Masdar Headquarters, a carbon neutral building to be located in the carbon neutral city of Masdar (master plan by Norman Foster) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

John is the author of Sustainable, Affordable, Prefab:  the ecoMOD Project, published by the University of Virginia Press, which was included on Dwell Magazine’s ‘required reading’ list of books in prefab.  He is also the author of Trojan Goat:  A Self-Sufficient House, about his leadership of the 2002 UVA Solar Decathlon Team (www.faculty.virginia.edu/solarhome/), a national design/build house competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.  The UVA team won 1st Place in the Design & Livability (architecture) and Energy Balance events of the 2002 Decathlon, and 2nd Place overall.

He has worked for several architecture firms in New York City.  He spent four years as a project architect with Architecture Research Office (ARO), where he managed a variety of projects, including a house in Colorado, and the offices of Capital Z Partners. These projects have been published in the New York Times, Architectural Record, A+U, Metropolis, and Interior Design.   As an intern designer at Richard Meier & Partners, he worked on the J. Paul Getty Center in Los Angeles.  He has also spent time in the offices of W.G. Clark Architects, William McDonough and Partners, and Perkins & Will, New York.

John’s MArch thesis project at the University of Virginia, a children's summer camp sited on a landfill, won 1st Place in the 1993 ACSA/American Wood Council National Design Competition.  As a photographer, he has mounted three solo exhibitions, and has been included in several group shows in New York City, Washington DC and Charlottesville, Virginia. He has taught photography workshops at the International Center of Photography in New York City, and the National Building Museum in Washington DC.  John and his wife Sara Osborne, a landscape architect, established Q&O Design in 2001.

Personal Gallery

1 of 44 ecoMOD South in South Boston, VA, Passive House standard on left, house built to code on right (photo by Trent Bell)
2 of 44 ecoMOD South in South Boston, VA (photo by Trent Bell)
3 of 44 Living Room in ecoMOD South (photo by Andrea Hubbell)
4 of 44 Kitchen in ecoMOD South (photo by Andrea Hubbell)
5 of 44 Bedroom in ecoMOD South (photo by Andrea Hubbell)
6 of 44 ecoMOD4 exterior (Scott Smith Photography)
7 of 44 entry to ecoMOD4 (Scott Smith Photography)
8 of 44 street view of ecoMOD4 (photo by Sarah Oehl)
9 of 44 ecoMOD4 interior (photo by Sarah Oehl)
10 of 44 ecoMOD4 interior at stair (photo by Sarah Oehl)
11 of 44 ecoMOD4 exterior (Scott Smith Photography)
12 of 44 Thermal Light Apartment, Washington, DC (photo by Prakash Patel)
13 of 44 Thermal Light Apartment, Washington, DC (photo by Prakash Patel)
14 of 44 Thermal Light Apartment, Washington, DC (photo by Prakash Patel)
15 of 44 Thermal Light Apartment, Washington, DC (photo by Prakash Patel)
16 of 44 ecoMOD3 historic house before (photo by ecoMOD3 team)
17 of 44 ecoMOD3 historic house after (Scott Smith Photography)
18 of 44 ecoMOD3 historic house interior merged (Scott Smith Photography)
19 of 44 ecoMOD3 accessory dwelling unit exterior (Scott Smith Photography)
20 of 44 ecoMOD3 accessory dwelling unit interior (Scott Smith Photography)
21 of 44 ecoMOD3 accessory dwelling unit interior to south (Scott Smith Photography)
22 of 44 ecoMOD3 accessory dwelling unit bathroom (Scott Smith Photography)
23 of 44 ecoMOD1 — the OUTin house (Scott Smith Photography)
24 of 44 ecoMOD1 — the OUTin house (Scott Smith Photography)
25 of 44 ecoMOD1 — the OUTin house (Scott Smith Photography)
26 of 44 ecoMOD1 — the OUTin house (Scott Smith Photography)
27 of 44 ecoMOD1 — the OUTin house (Scott Smith Photography)
28 of 44 Trojan Goat: UVA's Entry in the First Solar Decathlon (photo by Prakash Patel)
29 of 44 Trojan Goat: UVA's Entry in the First Solar Decathlon (photo by Prakash Patel)
30 of 44 Trojan Goat: UVA's Entry in the First Solar Decathlon (photo by Prakash Patel)
31 of 44 Trojan Goat: UVA's Entry in the First Solar Decathlon (photo by Prakash Patel)
32 of 44 Colorado House, with ARO (Architecture Research Office)
33 of 44 Colorado House, with ARO (Architecture Research Office)
34 of 44 Colorado House, with ARO (Architecture Research Office)
35 of 44 Colorado House, with ARO (Architecture Research Office)
36 of 44 Colorado House, with ARO (Architecture Research Office)
37 of 44 Kitchen, Colorado House, with ARO (Architecture Research Office)
38 of 44 Master Bedroom, Colorado House, with ARO (Architecture Research Office)
39 of 44 Offices of Capital Z Partners NYC, with ARO (Architecture Research Office)
40 of 44 Offices of Capital Z Partners NYC, with ARO (Architecture Research Office)
41 of 44 Tree stump, Cobham, VA (photo by John Quale)
42 of 44 Above NYC (photo by John Quale)
43 of 44 Above NYC (photo by John Quale)
44 of 44 tree (photo by John Quale)