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briefing notes: joanna van heyningen

When and where were you born?

In the second half of the 20th century, in London.

What is your favourite building and why?

Frank Lloyd Wright's Marin County Civic Centre (pictured), because of its use of light, the way it works with the landscape, and because it is both useful and slightly mad at the same time.

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

Original Tagine, handy for the Screen on Baker Street.

What vehicle(s) do you own?

Renault Scenic, because l like being high up.

What is your favourite film?

A Room with a View.

What is your favourite book?


What is your favourite 'design classic'?

The Elna Air Electronic sewing machine.

What is the worst building you've ever seen and why?

Heathrow Airport: the experience of arriving, occupying and leaving it are unrelievedly horrible.

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

Birkin Haward, who taught my year at Cambridge in 1969-71, and with whom l now work.

Who is the most talented architect you've worked with?

Norman Foster in the early 1970s.

If you hadn't been an architect, what would you have been?

A clothes designer and maker.

What would your advice be to architectural students?

Learn how to draw.

What would your motto be?

Life is long.

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