We are saddened to report that College of Environmental Design alumnus Jose Valeriano Lambert IV (B.Arch '66) passed away on Sunday, April 29, 2018, in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was 78.
Born on June 22, 1939, in Havana, Cuba to a physician father and a preschool music teacher mother, he attended Colegio Baldor in Havana and graduated from Coral Gables High School in Florida. He matriculated at the University of Virginia School of Architecture, where he met his spouse and professional partner, Montgomery Bird Woods. Lambert completed his degree in architecture at UC Berkeley, and together with Woods founded Lambert Woods Architects in San Francisco, later moving to New York City.
Lambert and Woods's portfolio of projects was extensive and included many private residential projects as well as the San Francisco headquarters of the advertising agency Hal Riney Associates, and the New York, Los Angeles and Houston offices of the global advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather. The couple returned to Charlottesville in the late 1980s to design a unique compound of buildings to call home. They identified a 21-acre parcel on Arrowhead Farm, which was purchased in 1881 by Woods's grandfather, and developed a complex of structures anchored by a chestnut log cabin built in the 1760s using their modernist take on Central Virginia vernacular architecture. Lambert and Woods ultimately purchased all of Arrowhead Farm from the Woods family and donated 410 acres to Albemarle County in 2014. The newly named William S.D. Woods Natural Heritage Area is designated to protect rare plant species.
Lambert was known for his sophisticated style and wit. He was also a fine artist. His numerous and colorful large-format pencil drawings celebrated the tension between his architectural precision and fiery free spirit. Several of his pieces grace the walls of Wurster Hall and the architecture school at UVA, where he was a benefactor. Lambert was a dear friend and mentor to many, and is survived by Woods, his partner of 59 years.