Interview: The founders of the Colombian Architect Studio, Taller 301, visited AutoPilot’s office for a little chat.
AutoPilot is constantly growing and developing, and now we can proudly reveal, that our software system is entering the international market. One of our new customers is the Colombian Architect Studio Taller 301, who came all the way to Denmark and visited Autopilot.
I got the chance to make a short interview with them about big dreams and being willing to take risks, when you found a new Architect Studio from scratch in Colombia.
Who is Taller 301?
Taller 301 was established in a small private room by the two young architects; Julian Restrepo and Pablo Forero. During their education they had an internship in one of Colombia’s biggest architect studios, but the reality didn’t live up to their expectations and ambitions. They wanted to do it bigger and better and decided to do something about it themselves. Their ambition was to show the world that Colombian architecture is able to compete and succeed at an international level, and this is where Taller 301 started.
When Julian and Pablo visited they both sat in front of me with a big smile on their face and a completely relaxed attitude. The two young men are a part of a new generation in Colombia, who has a strong drive, a sense of making smart business, and a complete awareness of the fact that they live in a globalized world with extensive possibilities.
You told me, you were a couple of young guys who founded Taller 301 in your room at home. Can you tell me more about your vision back then?
“We had a dream about doing great architecture and setting an example as a design office in our country. We wanted to show that Colombian design can be at an international level, and that we can give valuable work to people in our country and abroad. That was the very broad idea. We had no clue on how it was going to turn out, or how we were going to do it.”
“But it was very clear from the beginning that to do great architecture you needed a great office space, an environment and a work culture. There are great offices but the directors are not conducting, and we don’t want it to be that way.”
So you think architects are focusing on creativity and loosing sight of business?
“Totally. Architecture is on the edge of artwork and something highly technical. Usually everyone inclines to the artistic part, because the authorship, aim and recognition are compelling.”
“But business is also an important part of life, and you are in the market whether you like it or not – so you need to know how to play the game. And we want to be the best players!” They said with a smile on their face.
How did you get to know AutoPilot?
“We saw a lecture from a company who are using AutoPilot. They spoke about how important it is for a service company to control and keep track of how the money is flowing, because service companies are completely different from product companies. They are a part of a creative ambience.”
“We got in contact with AutoPilot and after seeing the list of people who is using it we thought okay, there is a common trade in all of them – These offices are exemplary to us, and we want to be more or less like them. We do great work like they do, and if AutoPilot is a component that makes a part of their work culture and their environment, then why shouldn’t we?”
“That’s also the interest we have in visiting Europe. We want to learn how other offices operate and see all the “behind the scenes stuff”. If we want to be one of the best offices in the world well, let’s visit the best offices in the world and see, how they work!
“It’s that basic, and it’s the same with architecture; If we want to do the best Concert Hall in the world, lets visit the best concert halls and try to improve that typology. That’s basically how we operate. We want to take all these big risks, and that’s why we use this saying “Fortune favours the bold”. We live by that motto.”
What’s next for Taller 301? You have some exciting new projects going on?
“We will start constructing some new projects these years. One of them is a University building in Bogota. It’s going to be a great building with a lot of classrooms and a vertical campus. The space is eleven storeys high and students will be able to study, have a coffee and a rest, while they see the backdrop of the city. Its’ going to be a really amazing space!”
“We will also start constructing another project. We are finishing a design of a university building with engineering labs. It’s a 12.000 square meter building. It is also going to be very special, because we are focusing on the areas – not so much on the classrooms and laboratories – but more on the interaction of students in the common spaces, with some great space for students to work and rest.”
“We will also finish our first office building in a couple of months, actually! And hopefully we will move into that building for our new offices. We are currently a little bit crowded where we are, and we hope that by the end of the year we will have a new office much more appropriate for the design work, that we are going to do. In Colombia there are no regulations for work places, but we are interested in implementing them – we want to be a step ahead!”
We wish Taller 301 the best of luck and hope AutoPilot will help you realize your goals. If you want to get to know them better, you can visit their website www.taller301.com or find them on Facebook or Flickr.