Best Architect (2004)
Rives Taylor Complete with round spectacles, bow tie, close-cropped beard and hard hat, Rives Taylor looks the part of a master builder. Taylor studied at Rice University, where he now teaches sustainability and eco-friendly architecture classes (he also teaches at the University of Houston). As the head architect for the Medical Center, Taylor has kept busy. His four-month-old nursing school building at Holcombe and Bertner has been showered with local awards. The building is the most eco-friendly in this region; 70 percent of its materials are recycled, and with rainwater storage tanks, a cooling rooftop garden and smart use of sunlight and shade, the estimated yearly energy savings might top $77,000. But it's Taylor's consistent enthusiasm that makes him the best; he teaches, he lectures, he sits on panels, he writes (in Houston's Cite magazine and others) -- in other words, he actually engages with the city he helps to build every day.