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a life in architecture sir rodney walker

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Chairman of UK Sport and of Wembley National Stadium Sir Rodney Walker says: 'I like traditional buildings but I accept that what is now considered traditional was once controversial.'

A structural engineer concerned by multi-storey buildings and concrete car parks, he welcomes the return of brick as a building material. 'The 1950s were functional and cost-effective, but attractive they were not, ' he says.

Two of Sir Rodney's uncles were architects, Raymond Walker being much respected in his day.

The proposed Wembley Stadium is of great interest to him.

'Wembley will become a new icon on the world stage, ' he predicts confidently. To be completed in 2004 at a cost of £600 million plus, he sees it as a new addition to the country's heritage.

'Paris is my favourite city, ' says Sir Rodney. 'I am not a fan of the Pompidou Centre but I like the Grande Arche [by Otto van Spreckelsen, above] at the far end of the Champs Elysees.'

Wakefield, where Sir Rodney lives, has some fine civic architecture.'County Hall is very underestimated. Those lateVictorian buildings have a great sense of strength and stability - they are an outstanding architectural legacy.'

'As someone who travels extensively, I find the interiors of religious houses, especially in Moscow, truly magnificent.'

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