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John Pardey: John Pardey Architects

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Q & A

When and where were you born?

In 1956, in a village called Sway in Hampshire (in a house my father, a carpenter, built).

What is your favourite building and why?

The Sydney Opera House; it combines a pure stroke of creative genius with an underlying rigour of standard elements.For me it stands alone as the greatest building of the 20th century and also contains the human struggle of the architect in modern society.

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

Anywhere unpretentious by the sea that has good wine.

What vehicle(s) do you own?

I am not taken too much with cars, they say too much, so I have a boring grey Audi A4.

What is your favourite film?

Bertolucci's 1900.

What is your favourite book?

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez.

What is your favourite 'design classic'?

Jacobsen's 3107 (number seven/butterfly/Christine Keeler) chair - it is perfect.

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

The office floor-plates at Paternoster Square, dressed up in a variety of over-mannered facades hinting at and vulgarising the past.

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

Undoubtedly Utzon's courtyard houses, for their diversity within unity, simplicity and timelessness.

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

Ron Yee.

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

A book illustrator (still an ambition).

What would your advice be to architectural students?

As Glenn Murcutt advised me: 'Tough it out.'

What would your motto be?

'Tough it out.'

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