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Q&A: Nicholas Colwyn Foulkes - Colwyn Foulkes and Partners

When and where were you born?

In 1955 in Colwyn Bay, North Wales.

What is your favourite building and why?

The Royal Opera House extension by Jeremy Dixon/BDP. A great piece of urban design that works visually, contextually, commercially, and also makes opera more accessible to mere mortals.

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

Le Caprice (fish cakes). Cool and understated.

What vehicle do you own?

I have an Audi TT - cool and understated - and an Audi All Road - understated with knobbly tyres.

What is your favourite film?

KAOS by theTaviani brothers.

What is your favourite book?

A Burnt-Out Case by Graham Green.

What is your favourite 'design classic'?

The screw-pull bottle opener, where would we be without it?

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

The Celtic Manor Hotel in Newport - Ceausescu comes to the valleys.

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

Summer holidays spent with my Grandpa Sidney visiting construction sites across the country, accompanied by a constant social and architectural history of everywhere we passed.

Who are the most talented architects you've worked with?

Ayyub Malik and Bob Chapman.

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

A yacht designer.

What would your advice be to architectural students?

Carry on learning, keep your designs simple and beautiful, and defend them intelligently.

What would your motto be?

Form follows function only up to a point.

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