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Q & A Larry Oltmanns Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

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When and where were you born?

1951, Chicago.

What is your favourite building?

National Commercial Bank in Jeddah, by Gordon Bunshaft.

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

Chez Colbert, Paris: Fruits de Mer.

What vehicle(s) do you own?


What is your favourite film?

The Godfather.

What is your favourite book?

Charles Dickens'A Tale of Two Cities.

What is your favourite 'design classic'?

Citroën DS.

What is the worst building you have ever seen and why?

Many 1960s buildings in London compete for this distinction. Thankfully we are now demolishing most of them!

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

Travel - it reminds us of how important it is to highlight the unique qualities in each place.

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

Charles Moore (1925-1993) of Moore, Lyndon, Turnbull, Whitaker.

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

An artist, with an all-consuming architectural hobby.

What would your advice be to architectural students?

Travel, sketch, explore and keep asking questions.

What would your motto be?

To thine own self be true.

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