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Q & A: James Dunnett James Dunnett Architects

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When and where were you born?

1948, Sofia, Bulgaria.

What is your favourite building and why?

Goldfinger's Alexander Fleming House and Odeon complex at the Elephant & Castle before its transformation and partial demolition. It embodied the elegance and ruthlessness of the world.

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

The Tandoori Fulham Road as it used to be, because it truly seemed to embody the exoticism of the East. Or the Tate Britain restaurant, because of the astonishing Whistler murals (and the foodà and one waitress).

What vehicle(s) do you own?

An old Citroën ZX.

What is your favourite film?

Carl Theodore Dreyer's Jeanne d'Arc.

What is your favourite book?

Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene.

What is your favourite 'design classic' The RT/Routemaster bus.

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

The National Bank ofWales headquarters building in Cardiff - an affront to a capital city where some quality might have been looked for.

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

Le Corbusier, because of the breadth of his world view.

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

Ernö Goldfinger.

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

A sculptor.

What would your advice be to architectural students?

Trust your own feelings, not the magazines.

What would your motto be?

If at first you don't succeedà

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