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London Calling: SIMON HENLEY, BUSCHOW HENLEY

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Lifestyle

What was the last book you read? Dubliners by James Joyce.

How often do you eat out?A couple of times a week.

What is your favourite restaurant?I like the oxo Tower and Mash.

Where do you buy your clothes? My wife buys my clothes.

What is your favourite shop? A bookshop, probably one in Hay-on-Wye.

What colour is your bedroom? White with wooden floors, canvas screen over the window.

What sort of music do you most enjoy listening to? Bond themes at the moment, Propellerheads from On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

What is your favourite accessory? It would be a book, to carry around with me, or a sketchbook.

What design item do you most covet? I'm not a great consumer, I can't afford to be. My most cherished possessions are my books, so depending on which day of the week it is, a Stirling book or a Peter Zumthor book or a Herzog & de Meuron book - but it's not going to be anything other than a book.

Have you got a design solution to an everyday problem, which you haven't already put into practice? I'm absolutely fascinated by multi-storey car parks but it's a preoccupation rather than a solution. We should have more of them, they're good spaces and they're alien spaces - strange things happen. People write about them, make videos about them, shoot films in them so they're cult things and yet they're much maligned. I'm in the process of starting to write a book on the subject.

How green are you? Ideally I cycle to work in the summer and go by tube in the winter, and we don't consume that much, so my poor recycling is countered by my low consumption.

What do you do in your spare time? I go to Dorset, go and swim in the sea, I definitely don't go to the shops at the weekend. I travel when I can, go and see friends, get away, get out of London.

What do you think architects are best at? Wasting time, thinking, doing things people have done before. Architects are very good at thinking about people and life, we're all everyday philosophers, which can have its risks, but at least we do philosophise. A lot of people just don't think about what they're doing or why they're doing it, so we are good at that although there's not a great value attached to it.

Worst at? Worst at running a business.

Would you want your children to be architects? Not necessarily. I wouldn't force them but I'm not having a bad life so I wouldn't stop them either. I'm not like lots of architect mothers and fathers who declare that it's the worst thing in the world. The amount you work in relation to the amount you get paid is a joke - I'd encourage them to marry into money which guarantees success.

Where do you live now? A three-storey flat-fronted Neo-Georgian London terrace house.

In which building would you most like to live? I wouldn't mind living in Corb's Shodan House in Ahmedabad; it's a very beautiful rough-hewn concrete structure - but then I'd have to move to India to do that . . .

Which building would you most like to have designed? Stirling's Leicester engineering building. With everything else it's too soon to know whether it's a good thing to have designed or not. Something by someone who could manage to do what we're doing at the moment, a house in a conservation area in Essex, and come out of it with some self-esteem.

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