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Jonathan Manser - The Manser Practice

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martin pawley Q & A

When and where were you born?

1955 , Epsom, Surrey.

What is your favourite building?

Thames Water Pumping Station, Chancellor's Road, London W6.A beautiful , brutal, precast concrete structure.Simple, but immaculately detailed.

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

The restaurant on the roof of Emmersons and Green in Stonetown, Zanzibar.Drinking and eating as the sun goes down over the Indian Ocean is fantastic.

What vehicle(s) do you own?

A bashed-up silver Honda.

What is your favourite film?

The John Smith's 'diving'TV ad.

What is your favourite book?

The Dictionary of National Biography.

What is your favourite 'design classic'?

Imperial Leather Soap.

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

The new cinema complex in Chichester.Someone has spent a lot of time making it that nasty.

I counted over 20 materials externally, then gave up.

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

The house in which I grew up.

Designed by my father and now demolished.Watching it being drawn then built probably started my real interest in architecture.

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

Not with, for; Norman Foster. I was an office boy for a few months and learnt an enormous amount.Like don't take a roll of drawings to the printers in the basket of your bicycle it'll end in tears!

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

Sailing.

What would your advice be to architectural students?

Learn to draw, talk and write.

What would your motto be?

Don't confuse endeavour with achievement.

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