Office Memos Not Required

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How architecture firm Taylor Design + BUILD is rebounding from the recession. Bil Taylor tells their story.


One of Taylor Design + BUILD's creations. Photo courtesy of Taylor Design + BUILD

With the gradual ending of the great recession come hopeful stories like the myth of phoenix rising, back from the ashes, regeneration etc. Surprised as we were after many uneventful years in the home building industry that we needed to seriously hunker down, a couple years later we find ourselves much altered. As architects and builders, not mythical birds, we at Taylor Design + BUILD have a story to tell.

Sadly, it began when several great employees had to leave to find other venues for their creative urges and to make a living. Principal Bil Taylor taught in the design/build studio at the U of A College of Architecture for several years to make ends meet and keep us in the game. We downsized from our old spacious dig$ at 178 E. Broadway, where we’d been for 20+ years, to another downtown locale – Redondo Towers. Though much reduced in size, it's a great place to collaborate. Cozy, or claustrophobic, office memos are no longer required.


The firm's new offices. Photo courtesy of Taylor Design + BUILD

A fortunate opportunity arose for Bil and his designer wife, Carole Hunter, to design and build their own home. This they did with the help of Matt O’Bright and Steve Gonzalez. This “Tuesday-Thursday Project"  was named for the two days Bil was on the site. On Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays, he was teaching design/build classes at the architecture college.  Completed in 2012 and first featured here in 3 Story Magazine, it was inspired and influenced from many sources, not the least of which was Michael Reynolds, founder of the Earthship.


Bil Taylor's 'Tuesday-Thursday' project was carried out on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when he wasn't working. Photo courtesy of Taylor Design + BUILD

Earthships are self-sufficient, off-the-grid homes generating their own electricity, dealing with their own wastes, passive solar heating and using only rainwater for everything!

The “Tuesday-Thursday Project” is a hybrid of  ideas - Michael’s ideas.  A yet-to-be-built greenhouse will phyto-remediate gray water for a secondary internal use in the toilets.  The house already collects rainwater for drinking and all household uses and do the typical solar remedies.

From the “ashes” of our small studio space, Alec Kennedy, husband-and-wife team Carole Hunter and Bil Taylor, and a cast of collaborators, still design fine homes, including interiors and, recently, furniture.

bt11finalFurniture design and fabrication is a new direction for our firm. Bil apprenticed with wood sculptor Wharton Esherick, generally recognized as a leader of American craftsmen, and influential in the Studio Craft Movement. Bil also operated the woodshop at Arcosanti  for two years, while apprenticing with world-renowned architect Paolo Soleri.



This Taylor Design + BUILD table receives an 11-feet long piece of 1-inch thick glass, to carry settings for eight people. Photo courtesy of Taylor Design + BUILD

As the building industry continues to revive, we find ourselves with tightened belts but wider scope, and ready for new opportunities.  The recently completed remodeling and large addition near Tucson's Arizona Inn will be on this year's AIA home tour. and a full feature article on the firm will appear in Tucson Lifestyle's January 2014 issue.

You can find Taylor Design + BUILD at 425 W. Paseo Redondo, Ste. 7, Tucson, AZ 85701. Call 520 792 9544; Fax 520 792 2029; Email [email protected]; or go to

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