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Q&A:Roula Konzotis - The RIBA Foundation

When and where were you born?

 

1953, Eastbourne, Sussex.

 

What is your favourite building and why?

 

The Parthenon - it’s utterly moving in its purity, its simplicity and it’s also a beacon of civilisation in the madness of modern Athens. I’ve always felt I could cope with living in Athens as long as I could see it from my balcony. I achieved this ambition when I spent a year there in 1980.

 

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

 

Grilled pork chop seasoned with oregano, hot chips (from a Parisian brasserie) and very cold dandelions boiled, seasoned and served in olive oil and lemon.

 

What vehicle do you own?

 

A Renault Espace What is your favourite film?

 

Ashamedly, it’s The Railway Children - the scene where Roberta sees her daddy stepping off the train makes me cry every time.

 

What is your favourite book?

 

A play called Aeschylus’Oresteia.

 

What is your favourite ‘design classic’?

 

The Mini - I love its new incarnation.

 

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

 

The Vencourt Hotel, Hammersmith.

 

I pass it daily and it makes me angry every time. It epitomises mindless visual vandalism.

 

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

 

66 Portland Place reminds me daily how lucky I am to work in a beautiful building.

 

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

 

Can’t pick! There are 28,000!

 

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

 

I’m not an architect. If I could have my time over, I’d be a dancer.

 

What would your advice be to architectural students?

 

Take risks and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

 

What would your motto be?

 

Embrace life with passion.

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