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Q&A: Malcolm Fraser - Malcolm Fraser Architects

When and where were you born?

1959, Edinburgh.

What is your favourite building and why?

Burnt Island Parish Church in Fife: radical architecture, the living expression of the revolutionary democratising power within the Scottish Reformation.

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

High tea at Stonehaven's Art Deco Carron Restaurant (haddock straight out of the sea, chips, salad, peas, bread and butter, pot of tea, all for £5.25).

What vehicle(s) do you own?

Simple city bicycle; Alfa 156 (part share).

What is your favourite film?

Gregory's Girl.

What is your favourite book?

The 1001 Nights.

What is your favourite design classic?

The above bicycle: it is cheap, eco-friendly and keeps me fit. It is freedom, and it can't be beaten.

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

The Pentagon exudes dread and malignant power as surely as does the collapsed reactor at Chernobyl.

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

Christopher Alexander: no architect, but a brilliant rationaliser of what makes an environment whole.

Who is the most talented architect that you have worked with?

My former partner, Rob Hunter (born 1953, died 1994). I miss him.

If you were not an architect, what would you have been?

Lost.

What would your advice be to architectural students?

Look around you, for nothing of worth - no useful craft, no great art - is produced without a deep understanding of things as they are.

What would your motto be?

Short of bringing a child into the world, there's nothing better than making a building.

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