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Q & A - Geoff Cohen Fitzroy Robinson

Where and when were you born?

Cardiff, 1956.

What is your favourite building and why?

The Mill Owners Association building, Ahmedabad, India. It brings together all of Corb's formal vocabulary in a small orthogonal palace.

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

The cafÚ at the bottom of Parliament Hill, watching my children eat plates of mussels. Or L'Antica Osteria in Perti, Liguria.

What vehicle(s) do you own?

1970 Volkswagen Beetle and a bicycle.

What is your favourite film?

Bicycle Thieves, and anything by the Marx Brothers.

What is your favourite book?

The Complete Hõfele.

What is your favourite 'design classic'?

The Jacobsen 3107 chair for its efficient use of material, comfort and durability. I have four in the kitchen made in 1963 and still going strong. I also like the quirky Bialetti caffettiera that you see in every Italian kitchen.

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

Our Victorian house, because it is incapable of yielding up the flowing, light-filled, unfettered space we dream of.

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

Renzo Piano. He has an amazing ability to communicate with everyone in his studio and encourage inquisitiveness into form and materials.

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

Renzo Piano.

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

A marine biologist.

What would your advice be to architectural students?

Hang on to your mask and snorkel.

What would your motto be?

'Think? then do it'.

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