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Q & A Max Fordham Max Fordham & Partners

When and where were you born?

1933, Highgate.

What is your favourite building and why?

Crystal Palace, because of the attention paid to buildability that makes it an outstanding achievement.

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

Paupiette de veau, etc, at a Routier in Brittany.

What vehicle(s) do you own?

Ford Mondeo estate.

What is your favourite film?

The Marx Brothers' classic A Night at the Opera. I like a good laugh.

What is your favourite book?

Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brien.

What is your favourite 'design classic'?

The green paper umbrella from Singapore.

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

The car park and shopping centre at Bath.Whenever I see this, which is too often, I realise that it is does not help to lift my feelings the way most of Bath does.

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

Arup Associates.Philip Dowson and Peter Foggo taught me what architecture was.

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

Eldred Evans.

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

I am an engineer so that must be the answer, but I have often wished I had been a banker.

What would your advice be to architectural students?

Remember you are working to make buildings for society.The first client must be happy, but it is not really important.

What would your motto be?

Don't bother with a motto.

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