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Q&A: Mal Parker - Dunthorne Parker Architects

When and where were you born?

Not so long ago in Cambridge.

What is your favourite building?

Lincoln Cathedral, as it personifies all periods of that most economic of styles, the Gothic.

What is your favourite restaurant and meal?

Lapin et moutarde at Le Grenouillier, in Montrieul, northern France.

What vehicle do you own?

A Ford Ka and a Ridgeback.

What is your favourite film?

Elvira Madigan or Mr Bird to the Rescue.

What is your favourite book?

Beloved by Toni Morrison or Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig.

What is your favourite design classic?

An original Le Mans Ford GT40 or a Swan 62 RS yacht.

What is the worst building you have ever seen and why?

The Marco Polo building overlooking Battersea Park, or any married quarters in any defence establishment in Britain. Neither has one gramme of integrity, being merely economic responses to a battery hen brief, but with vague pretensions to be otherwise.

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

Le Corbusier, as I started off doing fine arts and was a great fan of Cubism, which he transmuted into something far more sculptural. His originality was astounding.

Who is the most talented architect you have worked with?

Tony Swannell, who now teaches at the Architectural Association.

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

A lawyer, because I would have loved the exactitude.

What would your advice be to architectural students?

Involve yourself at the outset with someone from a world of wealth and influence.

What would your motto be?

Come hell or high water.

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