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a life in architecture

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nick ross

Crimewatch's Nick Ross does not think he has one favourite building, but in his top 10 would be Richard Rogers'Channel 4 headquarters in London (pictured). 'It's just what a flagship HQ should look like for a broadcasting patron of the arts - fun, but handsome, sitting well in its environment and, so far as I have experienced it, functional too.'

Another choice would be Brookes Stacey Randall's water tower on London's Holland Park roundabout. 'A functional overflow for the London water ring main, which might easily have been a disfiguring tower, 'says Ross. 'But it's been designed as a glass work of art, illuminated, with cascading blue water, and - once again - fun.'

Ross' dislikes are many. They include the huge shopping centre and bus garage above Hammersmith Tube Station - 'a squat, dull, unintelligent accretion of dreariness', he calls it.'No doubt the designers will blame the clients, but somewhere there must be an architect who thought that he or she was giving of their best.'

Ross goes on to decry 'the ribbon development around so many cities, old as well as new - almost unremittingly dull and plodding'; 'most holiday housing in the west country, a disgraceful affront to the landscape'; and 'the steady expansion of shopfronts everywhere out across the pavements from what were once handsome old terraces'.

His final comment was unrepeatable: 'I fear I might be beheaded as a result.'

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