Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

London Calling: MATTHEW FOSTER, APICELLA ASSOCIATES

  • Comment
Lifestyle

What was the last book you read? I read 1984 by George Orwell in the mid-1980s - everything since has been articles in architectural journals.

How often do you eat out? About once a week.

What is your favourite restaurant? I've no particular favourite. I most recently ate at Mash.

Where do you buy your clothes? I hate overstated designer labels and can't afford the understated ones. I normally shop at places like Gap and M&S, and sometimes Oxfam for bargains.

What is your favourite shop? I really don't like shopping but quite like places like Muji for its knick-knacks.

What colour is your bedroom? My landlord recently fitted a dark-blue carpet and painted the walls an off-white. Luckily most of my time spent there is with my eyes shut.

What sort of music do you most enjoy listening to? I enjoy a mix. I still listen to stuff that I bought ten years ago as well as my latest Fatboy Slim cd.

What is your favourite accessory? My motorbike - it's incredibly understated despite a top speed of over 160mph.

What design item do you most covet? Lots of things, none of which I can afford right now. Any classic Eames chair would do.

Have you got a design solution to an everyday problem, which you haven't already put into practice? I haven't had a 'eureka' moment yet, if that's what you mean. Although I'd like to think that I have an inventive spirit (my grandfather was a successful engineer and inventor). Almost all of what we (architects) do is 'reinvention'.

How green are you? Not very. I suppose that my motorbike is quite green, except for the engine. If everyone used two wheels in London, we wouldn't have a transport problem. Public transport could do better - the tube is unreliable and dirty.

What do you do in your spare time? The weekends are very important to me and I try to get out of London whenever I can. I also meet up with friends and catch up on the little things I have no time for in the week.

What do you think architects are best at? For me, architects are best at combining a technical approach with a creative one. This artistic/scientific ability I think makes most architects capable of doing a lot more than 'just' designing buildings.

Worst at? When we specialise too much too early within architecture at the expense of retaining and exploiting our more universal skills. Most employers are looking for all-rounders with common sense - people that I believe are highly sought after inside and outside the profession. I once applied to be a commercial pilot with British Airways.

Would you want your children to be architects? I'd like them to study architecture but not necessarily become an architect.

Where do you live now? Golders Green, London.

In which building would you most like to live? A penthouse flat somewhere high up in the city centre. For me that would be the best of both worlds - a retreat in the city.

Which building would you most like to have designed? I prefer to see architects' buildings as a portfolio of work. If I really had to name a building then the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona by Carlo Scarpa would be among my favourites.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.