Three questions for Neil Taylor, T.A.P., 2017 RIAS Emerging Architect

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At this year’s A&DS and RIAS Scottish Student Awards for Architecture (2017) we spoke to the winning students, as well as the speakers providing presentations during the day’s event. Neil Taylor is the Managing Director of Taylor Architecture Practice Lrd (T.A.P.). In 2016 he was the winner of the RIAS Building of the Year Award for Castle MacLellan Foods, Kirkcudbright. In 2017 he was the winner of the RIAS Saint-Gobain Emerging Architect Award for Aerial Adventures, East Kilbride and the Scottish National Waterski Centre, Dunfermline.  We asked Neil about his current work and any advice he would share with anyone thinking of studying architecture.

What are you currently doing?

Neil Taylor: I have been running my practice for the last five years and there are four architects in the firm. We are working on a range of different projects – domestic, new build houses, house extensions, industrial buildings and leisure buildings – so quite a wide range of work.

What difference did winning awards make?

We were awarded the RIAS building of the year award in 2016 which felt like a big boost for us. The RIAS Saint-Gobain Emerging Architect Award this year (2017) really felt like consolidating our good work – so great having the work acknowledged and given approval by the RIAS and other fellow architects. It absolutely helps when your meeting with new clients and pitching for work if you’ve got that kind of status as an award winner behind you. I can’t say it’s led to immediate projects specifically coming because of the awards, but it definitely helps the company grow.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about studying architecture?

I would say that you should enjoy every minute of the studies – you have a huge amount of freedom to explore your creativity during your years at university. It’s a wonderful opportunity that you should make the most of. It’s easy to forget that the skills you learn at university have to be applied in the real world when you finish so I would say keep your eye on reality as you go through the process, but enjoy it as much as you can.

Image (detail): Aerial Adventures, East Kilbride Shopping Centre.
Image Credit: David Barbour.

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