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Q & A: Julyan Wickham - Wickham Van Eyck Architects

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When and where were you born?

1942, Reading, Berkshire.

What is your favourite building?

It would probably be the Assembly building at Chandigarh in the Punjab.

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

Kensington Place, even though I designed it myself. My client, Rowley Leigh, the chef, cooks some of the best food in London.

What vehicle(s) do you own?

A Citroën CX 2500 GTI.

What is your favourite film?

Some Like It Hot. Whenever I hear Marilyn singing 'I wanna make love to you', I am silenced.

What is your favourite book?

Utz by Bruce Chatwin.

What is your favourite 'design classic'?

The sidelights on a Morris 1000.

We have used them on many of our bar designs.

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

I don't spend much time thinking about this kind of thing and can only suggest the Little Chef on the A420 near Oxford.

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

I was very impressed by the generous aesthetic of Mughal architecture in India when I worked there in the 1960s, and Le Corbusier.

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

Aldo van Eyck.

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

Sane.

What would your advice be to architectural students?

Only become an architect if you like hard work and working all night and weekends; have another source of income; and are obsessed with the subject to the exclusion of everything else.

What would your motto be?

The Wickham family motto is 'manners maketh the man', but rumour has it that I do not always practise this myself.

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