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Q & A - Neil Gillespie Reiach & Hall Architects

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Where and when were you born?

Dunfermline, Scotland, in 1954.

What is your favourite building and why?

Haus Lange in Krefeld, Germany, by Mies van der Rohe, for its reticence and as a place for art.

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

Thai carry-out, in a tent with the family, on the sands of Morar.

What vehicle(s) do you own?

Black leather shoes.

What is your favourite film?

Lost in Translation.

What is your favourite book?

Kenneth White's collection of essays, On Scottish Ground, published by Polygon.

What is your favourite 'design classic'?

A traditional Orkney chair.

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

Any Toys R Us, because of the hysterical effect they have on adults and kids alike.

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

Artist Alan Johnston, for his intelligence and generosity.

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

Shinichi Ogawa, for his crystal vision.

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

In my dreams, an artist.

What would your advice be to architectural students?

Take time out for a long walk.

What would your motto be?

'OK, but I'll get the next one.' l Neil Gillespie has written this week's building study on the Scottish parliament. See pp24-36

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