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Q & A - Paul Williams Stanton Williams

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When and where were you born?

Born Saturday 8 October 1949, at 3pm precisely, Loveday Hospital in Birmingham. My father chose to watch the Blues match instead.

What is your favourite building and why?

Carlo Scarpa's Brion Cemetery in Treviso for materials and details.

Louis Kahn's Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth for space and light. Both are truly uplifting experiences.

What is your favourite restaurant?

The Ivy, Covent Garden.

What vehicles do you own?

An Audi Allroad and a bicycle.

What is your favourite film?

Federico Fellini's Roma.

What is your favourite book?

Anything written by Ian McEwan.

His words always manage to evoke such strong and powerful visual qualities. To name one: Atonement.

What is your favourite 'design classic'?

Vico Magistretti's Sinbad armchair. The concept: a thick wool horse blanket thrown over an upholstered steel-framed armchair. Result: effortless, elegant simplicity and wonderfully comfortable.

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

Too many to mention, but most Holiday Inn hotels in London fit this category. Cheap and soulless.

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

Louis Kahn. A constant inspiration.

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

Alan Stanton, my good friend and colleague.

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

A sculptor, or less probably a film director.

What would your advice be to architectural students?

Visual clarity is rarely achieved without mental clarity.

What would your motto be?

'One enlightened client a day keeps the doctor at bay'.

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