Surface Architects

Surface Architects has many things going for it. One is fortuitous timing. The firm has been busy during a period when England's central government has sanctioned the funding of new buildings for university campuses around the country. Accolades have brought the team into the public eye. It was recently added to the U.K.'s "40 Under 40" list, which is an awards program for young architects. However, forgoing all the hype that surrounds graduate-school theory-speak and appearances in tabloid party pages, this young practice, led by its directors Richard Scott and Andy MacFee, concentrates on creating engaging architecture. Scott, who studied architecture at both The Bartlett at University College London and SCI-Arc in Los Angeles, caught his first big break with Andrew Zago, a professor from his years in Los Angeles. At the time, Zago was a visiting professor at Cornell University and asked Scott to join him when he was given an in-house commission to build a design studio for the Aerospace Engineering Department. The project called for a workspace that emphasized synergy and creativity in mechanical design. Scott recalls, "It was by far the most interesting and groundbreaking project I'd been involved with up to that point."

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