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Q & A - Nick Guy Benoy

When and where were you born?

1954, Birmingham.

What is your favourite building and why?

The Royal Festival Hall, an exemplary building in every way.

The recent concerts by Brian Wilson of Smile and Pet Sounds were unbelievable.

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

Riva in Barnes. Unpretentious quality in relaxed surroundings.

What vehicle(s) do you own?

Jaguar X-Type 2.0 V6S.

What is your favourite film?

A Hard Day's Night.

What is your favourite book?

The House at Pooh Corner and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Storytelling at its best.

What is your favourite 'design classic'?

1952 Fender Telecaster.

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

The most depressing sight/site I see each day is St George's Reach at Vauxhall Cross. Minster Court too, but thankfully I don't see it so often.

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

The Museum of Science and Industry, Birmingham (closed in 1997).

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

Fellow part-time students Ali, Spud and Lawrence spring to mind.

David Chipperfield tutored us for a few terms, he's quite good! He had a 'Gordon Ramsay' moment with one of my drawings, for which I'll be forever grateful.

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

Unfulfilled but less stressed.

What would your advice be to architectural students?

When you think you have done your best work, the truth is it's only just good enough. Now really stretch yourself.

What would your motto be?

Don't overlook the blindingly obvious.

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