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A life in architecture: Grant Luscombe

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Grant Luscombe is particularly excited by Hodder Associates’ National Wildflower Centre in Liverpool, because it is his new workplace. As director of the Landlife Trust, which runs the new centre, Luscombe was instrumental in commissioning the sculptural concrete building

‘It’s a courageous, highly-complex building for all its simple form because it offers so many different types of space, ’ he says. ‘And the light is glorious.’

A peripatetic upbringing underlies his eclectic choice of buildings, which he finds virtually impossible to compile. As an unaccompanied minor he often had to wait in the Ugandan capital Kampala for connecting flights and he was fascinated by Peatfield & Bodgener’s Modernist Ugandan Parliament Building. ‘The huge, white, almost Cubist, forms of the building set amidst lush tropical vegetation have always stayed with me, though I’ve never revisited it.’

He loves the low gabled vernacular houses of rural Denmark and the striking beach houses - ‘such a powerful image in the landscape’. Magnus Poulsson’s modern, glazed reinterpretation in the coastal town of Aabenraa makes breathtaking use of light, he says. He is also overawed by the ancient temple ruins in Baalbek in northern Lebanon (‘it makes the Acropolis look like Legoland’) and the massive space of Gilbert Scott’s Anglican cathedral in Liverpool (pictured). ‘You don’t have to like Gothic to be amazed by it - it takes you out of your skin.’

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