Architect of the Month: Zachary Taylor, AIA, Taylor Architecture & Design, LLC
In 2014, Zach founded Taylor Architecture & Design, a full service architectural design firm specializing in design-build and design-bid-build projects for retail, hospitality, industrial, commercial, warehouse, office/warehouse, office, educational and religious facilities. Zach has a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Texas A&M University and a Master of Architecture from University of Colorado Denver. He was the 2015-2016 AIA Colorado Treasurer and the 2018 AIA Colorado President Elect.
What sparked your interest in architecture?
As a child, I loved playing with Legos, Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys so my family always thought I would be a designer or engineer. I took a drafting class in high school, which led me to decide to study architecture in college.
How has your career evolved?
I knew I wanted to live in Colorado after finishing my undergraduate degree. I found a job in Colorado Springs which was good fit. I worked there for over 13 years until the partners decided to retire and close during recession. The senior partner approached me and asked if I would help their repeat clients.
In the past five years, Taylor Architecture & Design has worked on projects up and down the front range, in Colorado Springs and also including Denver, Pueblo, and Summit County. My previous firm worked heavily with religious nonprofits and that is my specialty as well. We recently finished restoration for Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Colorado Springs. It was originally built in 1922 and maintenance had been deferred so we helped bring the church into the modern age. It has been a journey from architect to firm principal. Now I take on more of the business development side, which has been challenging and fun.
How has your involvement with AIA affected your career?
AIA has great continued education programs that keep architects on forefront of changes in the industry. In Colorado, we have a great Practice + Design Conference every year that rivals the education programming provided on a national level. AIA has also been influential in legislative advocacy. It is important to be licensed and regulated in our profession to defend the health and safety of the public. AIA Colorado has developed good relationships for local state advocacy. Having an association, like
AIA Colorado, invested in legislature helps us achieve positive change; instead of leaving matters to one architect or firm, we can come together to support an issue.
What are you looking forward to most in the coming year?
The board has a great work plan for this year. I look forward the Practice + Design Conference, as well as building up local advocacy efforts with cities and municipalities around the state. We are looking for more member engagement this year. One way to encourage this is a new communication feature. We will be asking for more stories from members to be featured on the chapter’s website; features similar to this about why they got into architecture and how they have benefitted from the association.
What do you see as the biggest challenge to architects in Colorado right now?
We are very fortunate that business is booming in Front Range so while we are keeping up with the state’s growth, architecture firms are challenged to keep quality personnel. Additionally, with the amount of expansive work, we need to make sure we maintain high-quality design and good products for our clients.
An opportunity is taking advantage of new technology (CAD, modeling software, BIM) so we keep innovating in our profession.