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Taylor has hometown connection to Centennial Plaza

Posted: May 7, 2018

Taylor has hometown connection to Centennial Plaza

East St. Paul's Evan Taylor is living proof that you
never really know where life is going to take you.

The 25-year-old is an architectural intern with Architecture 49, but he said when he was younger he never even considered this would become his career.  In fact, in high school he took what he described as a "sort of pre-med experience program", with his heart set on becoming a doctor.

"I did an internship at the Pan Am Clinic and job shadowed some surgeons and it was all very interesting," Taylor said.                                                   

"But I did kind of a 180."

It was after his first year of university that architecture came knocking.  He had a friend who was heading down that path, and Taylor decided he'd switch his courses and take architecture.

"I left high school thinking I wanted to be a medical doctor and I had one of my teachers in high school tell me that I should consider architecture," he said.

"I've always enjoyed drawing and making things.  Architecture was never something that I was exposed to as a kid, no one in my family was an architect, I'm sort of the first one, so it was something I also had to learn about."

Learn he did, and after spending the summer of 2016 at Architecture 49 as a student, he came back in 2017 as a staff member.  And as luck would have it, one of the first jobs the Birds Hill boy landed was East St. Paul's Centennial Plaza.

He's quick to point out that he came in at the end, and had minimal involvement, but he did assist the Landscape Architecture Group with finalizing things.

"I helped them do some 3D modelling and some later design stuff.  They had most of it done.  I ended up doing a rendering and some of the other finishing things," he said.

Still, he said it's fun that he played a small part in a project that means so much to his hometown.  The Centennial Plaza is the RM's millennium project and recognizes the municipality's 100th anniversary.

"It's exciting because I get to drive by it every day and see how it'll develop and it'll be cool, nice knowing that I had my hands, in some way, in that project," Taylor said.

"It's very much home and part of my family's history in East St. Paul and Birds Hill."

Taylor can one day tell his kids and grandkids that he played a part in the Centennial Plaza and he can also tell them that as a young architect he placed second in an international design competition.

The Canadian Chapter of Architects Without Borders' Indigenous Housing Ideas Competition challenged architects to submit their proposals to improve opportunities available to design, deliver and maintain housing for remote access Indigenous Canadians.

More than 80 ideas were submitted from around the world, and Taylor's submission, called 'Towards a New Normal' earned him a second place nod.

Taylor said he didn't submit a physical design for housing, but rather "a framework of ideas, all the things that have to be considered or addressed before a house is designed".

"It's not just here's four walls and that's super economical and efficient, but what are the local realities, the cultural needs and the feasibility, because they're all related," Taylor said.

"That was my project, it looked like a web of drawings and images and words but it was an attempt to lay all these things out and make visible all of these other things that happen that lead up to the house."

Taylor said work on Centennial Plaza will resume when the ground thaws.


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