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Q&A: Alan Dunlop

When are where were you born?

In 1957, in Glasgow.

What is your favourite building?

Lou Kahn's Library at Phillips Exeter Academy because of the tricks of scale and combination of the materials.

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

Mussels, French bread and a cold beer, eaten anywhere with my family and a beach.

What vehicle do you own?

Black Cherokee Jeep.

What is you favourite film?

The Last of the Mohicans.

What is your favourite book?

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.

What is your favourite design classic?

E-Type Jag.

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

Tay House in Glasgow, because of its pivotal location and damage to the aspect of the Mitchell Library.

But if you walk around Glasgow's central business district you will see a number of buildings where no thought whatsoever has gone into their design or construction.

Who or what is your biggest influence?

Lou Kahn, Alvaro Siza, Raphael Moneo, Robert Matthew, Barry Gasson, Wiel Arets.

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

David McMillan, Ian Simpson, Gordon Murray, and Alison and Peter Smithson spring to mind, but the most talented and intuitive designer was not an architect but Ken Grange of Pentagram.

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

A painter. I was offered a place at St Martin's School of Art, but turned it down.

What would your advice be to students?

Keep drawing.

What would your motto be?

You're no better than you should be.

Gordon Murray and Alan Dunlop Architects

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