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Q&A - Robert Sakula Ash Sakula Architects

Where and when were you born?

London, 1953.

What is your favourite building and why?

Houses, for their intricacy and intimacy: among the best of the best are the Gayer-Anderson House in Cairo; the house and garden of the Master of the Nets in Suzhou; and Eileen Gray's E1027 in Roquebrune.

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

Taamiya and turnip pickles wrapped in baladi bread from a Cairo street stall.

What vehicle(s) do you own?

A very scruffy, and hence fairly thief-proof, bicycle.

What is your favourite film?

Lawrence of Arabia.

What is your favourite book?

Right now it is The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard.

What is your favourite 'design classic'?

My brass Turkish tea tray, which you can swing in a complete vertical circle without spilling a drop.

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

For sheer ugly cynicism, the Holiday Inn on Farringdon Road, near King's Cross, London.

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

Ongoing discussions and travel with my partner, Cany Ash.

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

It's a dead heat between Clough Williams-Ellis, David Lea and Cany Ash.

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

An explorer.

What would your advice be to architectural students?

Carry a sketchbook all the time, and travel and draw everything, not just architecture.

What would your motto be?

'Architecture isn't a matter of life and death, it's much more important than that.'

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