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briefing notes: neil choudhury

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When and where were you born?

Staffordshire,1961.

What is your favourite building and why?

Houses at Turn End, Haddenham, by Peter Aldington. It's the reason I became an architect, and just as inspiring over 20 years later.

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

Robert and Brian's Bistro on Hastings pier.The seafront spreads out majestically behind you.

What vehicle(s) do you own?

A mountain bike. I gave up my car 12 years ago when I calculated that I could use taxis every day if necessary and still save money.

What is your favourite film?

Trust by Hal Hartley.

What is your favourite book?

Cities and People by Mark Girouard.

What is your favourite 'design classic'?

The archetypal duo-pitched white beach hut.

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

A recently completed office building on the corner of Southwark Street and Great Guildford Street, demonstrating the thin line between fun in architecture and a bad joke.

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

Glenn Murcutt, for his synthesis of the vernacular, the glass pavilion, craft production and sensitivity to landscape and genius loci.

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

Birkin Haward.He taught me to appreciate the functional tradition in building and the virtues of restraint and rigour.

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

A yacht designer or Olympic sailor (I wish).

What would your advice be to architectural students?

Understand and love the buildings of the past, for they hold the clues to the buildings of the future.

What would your motto be?

We may be lying in the gutter but we're looking at the stars.

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