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a life in architecture: lucy musgrave

Castles form a continuous thread through Lucy Musgrave's relatively short life. From her family home in Warwickshire, she could see Kenilworth Castle, a dark-red sandstone ruin, begun in the twelfth century. It formed the backdrop to happy times with her siblings, the place where she 'started to enjoy clambering over buildings'. Later, she fell in love with her future husband during a course on late medieval architecture studying a string of Welsh castles: Harlech, Conwy, Caernavon and Beaumaris. Their appeal for Musgrave lay in the way they revealed, 'an incredible ability to use architecture as an expression of power'.

Earlier this year she added Bellver Castle in Palma de Mallorca to her list (above). It appears square on the outside, but has a circular inner courtyard with stairs to a surrounding roof terrace. 'It draws you in and eventually reveals itself to you in all its glory,' says Musgrave. The linking areas have been renovated by Lapena and Torres, a young Barcelona practice. As director of the Architecture Foundation, Musgrave believes in promoting young practitioners and this marriage of old and new delighted her.

From castles to churches. Coventry Cathedral, rebuilt by Basil Spence after the war, was another strong childhood influence. It combines old and new elements such as the stained glass by John Piper, and unfolds its magnificence gradually. 'Only when you see the extraordinary side chapels do you realise its full impact,' says Musgrave. She sums it up as 'a great celebration of materials'.

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