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briefing notes john outram

When and where were you born?

British Empire,1934.

What is your favourite building and why?

The rigorously architectural structure of a Claude Gelée landscape.

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

Christmas Pudding, because the ritual is a Vedic cosmogony: the raft of twigs, the fire, the seeds of light buried in the mountain cf Foster's Bundestag dome.

What vehicle(s) do you own?

A 1974 DS23 Citroen Safari and a 1975 Fiat 500.

What is your favourite film?

Blade Runner and also Ghostbusters, which is saturated in hidden architectural iconography.

What is your favourite book?

Time and Narrative by Paul Ricoeur.

What is your favourite 'design classic'?

The transparent Recife Fountain Pen, made in Paris.

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

The London Eye - everything is seen and nothing is revealed.

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

The City of Rome. It executes Le Corbusier's ambition, to enflesh the Golden Age, so much more efficiently than he did.

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

A P Hodgson.He was unqualified, yet could project every detail and proportion of a complete NeoPalladian building with nothing more than his head and hands.

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

A writer.What a lucky escape!

What would your advice be to architectural students?

Think of it as purgatory with life thereafter, as a paradise filled with clients and builders who both love and understand architecture.

What would your motto be?

Worship the lowly sponge - an animal who, even when torn to shreds in a blender, reassembles itself the same as it was before.

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