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Q & A

Charles Thomson Rivington Street Studio

When and where were you born?

29 May 1946, Liskeard, Cornwall.

What is your favourite building and why?

In London, the Royal Festival Hall.Further afield, Villa Savoye.

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

Recently, the Morgan M restaurant in Liverpool Road, north London.And barbecued fish on the beach at Yzerfontein in the Western Cape.

What vehicle(s) do you own?

A Marlin Fairfax hybrid bike for London, a Condor touring bike for distance and the 'Tardis' (1995 Ford Maverick) for the family.

What is your favourite film?

Historically, The Conformist by Bertolucci (1970).Recently, Lost in Translation by Sofia Coppola.

What is your favourite book?

Recently, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen and Don't let's go to the dogs tonight: an African childhood by Alexandra Fuller.

What is your favourite 'design classic'?

Corbusier's Petit Confort armchair and Jasper Morrison's three-seat Elan sofa for Cappellini.

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

The Holiday Inn, King's Cross: smug, ugly, crass and an insult to the City, and 20/40 Farringdon Road: another affront to its setting.

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence?

Mr McIver, my art teacher at school;

Corbusier; and Glen Murcutt.

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

My present and previous partners.

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

Disappointed. My mother thought I might be a priest!

What would your advice be to architectural students?

'Commodity, firmness, delight' still seems an appropriate design mantra.

What would your motto be?

Simplicity is a virtue.

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