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a life in architecture richard ashcroft

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Releasing a single called 'Money to Burn' from his upcoming solo album suggests that Richard Ashcroft, until recently lead singer of pop group The Verve, enjoys extravagance. He admires Californian architecture: 'Some of the classic, well-designed Los Angeles Modernist pads that were built in the 50s and 60s are very angular, with beautiful glass windows . . . Although they're really vulgar in places, there are a few key late 60s houses in the hills that are absolutely stunning.'

He says that his sympathies lie in simpler traditional buildings.

He loves the old tithe barn at his house in Gloucester: 'It's from 1670 or something, an incredible building.' In the city he loves nineteenth-century cosmopolitan dwellings: 'There are Georgian stucco-fronted London townhouses, brownstones in New York.'

He also has his favourite signature buildings in the two cities. He singles out Walter Gropius' 1963 Pan Am building in New York. 'I love the Pan Am building, I love that period, ' he says. Now known as the Met Life building, this towers above Grand Central Station. 'In London the Lloyd's building is an amazing structure.'

Ashcroft is aware of his visual surroundings and their influence upon him: 'I've always been obsessed by the aesthetic - how much it can depress you as much as stimulate you.'

Alone With Everybody (Virgin) is to be released in June.

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