R5 Rising Stars in Design and Architecture: Jason Taylor

Architect with a Beat

A wall of glass maximizes views of the Long Island Sound.

Jason Taylor is the managing principal at J. Taylor Design Group LLC, the two-person architecture and interior-design firm he founded in 2003. He was named to the Board of Directors for the American Institute of Architects Westchester Hudson Valley chapter late last year.

Why did you choose architecture as a career? I spent my childhood drawing two-point perspectives and mock technical drawings of spaceships, space stations, and buildings that looked like space stations. My parents also had an amazing wood shop in our basement that I constantly built things in. Once I learned that there was a job that allowed me to design cool buildings, I was pretty determined to one day become an architect.
Do you have a design philosophy or are you guided/influenced by any one architect or school of thought? If I had to pick just one, I would have to say it’s Renzo Piano. Piano and his colleagues build things with their own hands and test them like scientists, an approach I strive to emulate. I like to say that I don’t design anything that I couldn’t build myself—and maybe that’s stretching the truth a little bit, mostly because I’m terrible at welding, but it’s a goal that pushes me to keep learning and become a better architect.  

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The stairs’ concept focused on enhancing the existing views; LED tape was used to edge-light each piece of glass on the risers.


Any unique requests? The client who owned the house pictured, needed her home to be able to withstand the potential abuse of a large German shepherd, a bunny rabbit that chews on everything, a cat, and several large birds. Throughout the house, we relied on materials like steel, glass, porcelain, and concrete. The stair treads were oak butcher block and, to make the stairs safe, we closed in the risers with three-eighths of an inch of tempered glass.  
Do you have more fun with residential designs or commercial? It’s really hard to say which is more fun since I try to approach both types of projects in a similar way. I often use commercial design elements in my residential work and vice-versa. Regardless of the type or style of project, when a client is open to exploring the unique possibilities of their project, that’s when the creativity starts to flow and things get really fun.  
Describe your dream project. As a musician and an architect, I would love to design spaces for people to play, see, and hear music performed. Maybe one day, I’ll design a music school with theaters, recital halls, rehearsal rooms, recording studios, even a nightclub. Then, of course, I’d have to bring my drums and try them out in every room.      

An extended viewing platform at the first landing includes a bar for entertaining.

 

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