Jean Balladur accepted me in his studio when I was seventeen and I continued to work there through most of my studies. I remember Balladur’s warm and thoughtful guidance, the delightful aura of the bygone era of 50s and 60s modernism that permeated his studio in Rue Cambon. He was best known for his work at La Grande Motte in southern France, but produced a number of other interesting examples of French post-war modernism. His sketching was wonderfully sensitive and expressive. I learned a great deal in his studio and had the chance to work with some wonderful people. Jean Balladur passed away in 2002 (see his obituary).
Claude Schnaidt, whom I had both as an architecture history professor and as a design studio professor, was unforgettable, as much as an uncompromising theorist as by his extraordinary warmth as a human being. A former student of the Ulm School, foremost expert on Hannes Meyer, and inexhaustible source of great stories, he was a direct link to the glory days of modernist rationalism. With his much-imitated Swiss accent and wonderful expressions, he was an exacting design professor, but he was also often a support and friend to his students. Claude Schnaidt passed away in 2007. One of his former students wrote a very nice little piece remembering him.
I started to work in the studio of Bernard Huet in 1992. In 1994, he was my dissertation project director. Huet had a tremendous impact on French architecture, but was a very humble man and an extraordinary pedagogue. I was struck by how, despite his great intellectual capacities and enormous knowledge, he always remained simple and pragmatic in his projectual approach, and maintained his sophisticated sense of humor. Huet passed away in 2001. His team, which continues to operate, has written an excellent profile of Huet’s extraordinarily productive professional life.