© Scott & Scott Architects

A+Award Winner Q+A: David Scott on Intuition, Experience, and Instinct

Scott & Scott Architects won the 2014 Jury Award for the Architecture +Self Initiated Projects category with Alpine Cabin.

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With 90+ Categories and 300+ Jurors, the Architizer A+Awards is the world’s definitive architectural awards program. In the weeks leading up to the extended deadline, January 30, 2015, we are publishing Q&As with 2014 A+Award Winners. TO SEE A FULL LIST OF CATEGORIES AND LEARN MORE ABOUT THE A+AWARDS, VISIT AWARDS.ARCHITIZER.COM.

Scott & Scott Architects won the 2014 Jury Award for the Architecture +Self Initiated Projects category with Alpine Cabin.

Your name: David Scott
Firm name: Scott & Scott Architects
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Education: Technical University of Nova Scotia (Dalhousie), 2000

© Scott & Scott Architects

© Scott & Scott Architects


Alpine Cabin

When did you decide that you wanted to be an architect?

When I applied for architecture school. I had taken three years of undergraduate courses in anything that interested me: fine arts, earth and physical sciences, and liberal arts. Architecture was the combination of these varied interests.

What was your first architecture/design job?

I’m one of the odd sort of architects who left school and worked for a single architect (Peter Cardew) for 12 years. This sort of apprenticeship may have once been quite normal in the past, but I’ve come to appreciate that this is relatively rare in our current world.

Who is your design hero and/or what is your favorite building (and why)?

I have a varied appreciation for all sorts architecturally designed and ordinary buildings that evolve with use; I was most struck by Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of the Arts — there’s an interesting relationship between tradition and intuitive searching in its execution. I seem to appreciate the architects who do a handful of buildings at the periphery more than central figures.

© Scott & Scott Architects

© Scott & Scott Architects


Alpine Cabin

Tell us something that people might not know about your winning entry.

There was over 1000′ of rope used to erect and support the columns. We were fortunate to have a port as the nearest town where we could return for more of the high strength rope used in fishing.

Which juror(s) do you find most compelling and why?

Ronan Bouroullec — there’s a nice quality to his and his brother’s work.

Among your fellow A+Award winners, what is/are your favorite(s)?

Brian Mackay Lyons Sweetapple’s Two Hull’s House. This practice has had a long relationship with the architecture school we attended. In the first weeks of school, Talbot (who was a senior at the time) taught me how to draught and build wooden models. I’ve always looked forward to seeing their next project and the evolution of their work.

© Scott & Scott Architects

© Scott & Scott Architects


Alpine Cabin

What is the most important quality in an architect?

Intuition. The work we’ve always enjoyed is often rooted in experience and instinct. I have incredible appreciation for the way people who work with materials on a daily basis and with no formal design training solve problems and modify things.

Who would be your dream client, and why?

A courageous one. Two of my favorite buildings are the Reykjavik City Hall by Studio Granda and the New Art Gallery Walsall by Caruso St John. Both are significant projects that were awarded to practices that were at the time very small.

What do you find exciting about architecture and design right now?

I’m excited about the groundswell of interest in quality and craft, this is particularity occurring with food and clothing where current technologies allow for small, careful quality production models to be competitive with large-volume business models. It may be a response to our connection to our mobile devices and computers but there seems to be a reemergence of interest in the aspects of materiality and form that are eternally familiar and comfortable, an interest in the engagement of the qualities of tradition more than the image of it.

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