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a life in architecture arabella lennox-boyd

The designer of the surrealist roof garden at No 1 Poultry, Arabella Lennox-Boyd, has a romantic list of favourite structures and places.

First, the airport railway station in Lyon by Santiago Calatrava, which looks like a bird, 'a huge seagull, totally beautiful and elegant'.

Next, because she is a landscape architect, comes a garden, designed by Vignola, at Villa Lante in Bagnaia, Italy (above).

'It has all the humour, practicality and sensuality of Italian gardens, which are very grand and yet relate to humans, ' she says. 'It has a long stone table where the water runs down a channel in the middle - I suppose they put fruit there to cool.' Because she is Italian, she makes another Italian choice: Palazzo Farnese in Rome, designed by Sangallo and worked on by Michelangelo and Giacomo Della Porta. 'I like it because the outside is very severe and utterly beautiful, 'she says.'In the courtyard you really see how the Romans understood the play of light and shade, coolness and heat. You can catch a chill if you stand in the corners of the portico on a hot day.'

If there's space for a fourth choice, it must be a sculpture she saw recently in Dallas. The Mustangs of Las Colinas in Dallas, by Robert Glen, depicts nine bronze horses stampeding across water in a civic square, the fountains geared to mimic spray kicked up by their hooves.

Lennox-Boyd finds the contrast between the very modern, completely bare square and the realistic dark horses breathtaking.

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