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briefing notes: matthew wells

When and where were you born?

Bedford General Hospital, April 1956.

What is your favourite building and why?

Central Finnish Museum, Jyväskylä. It looks nothing on plan but once there you can't believe how Aalto could have been so totally on top of his art.

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

Le Soulade, Dalston, London.

Brochet au beurre blanc.

What vehicle(s) do you own?

Volvo cross-country.

What is your favourite film?

Godfather II.

What is your favourite book?

Heart of Darkness.

What is your favourite 'design classic'?

We have an Olivetti portable typewriter.

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

Some you just have to pass by.

Of those with pretensions, the detailing and the sheer earnestness of the design of the South Quay Bridge in London made me wince.

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

Tony Hunt for his approach to the subject.

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

Architects have to combine many talents.Pure design? Peter Clash, without a doubt.

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

I wish I'd been gifted enough to cut women's hair.

What would your advice be to architectural students?

Look harder at buildings.

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