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Q & A

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When and where were you born?

December 1949, Hadleigh, Essex.

What is your favourite building and why?

Le Corbusier's Notre-Dame Du Haut at Ronchamp.A delightful, magical work of art, which sits perfectly in its landscape. It makes my hair stand on end to walk inside.

What is your favourite restaurant/meal?

Hintlesham Hall in Suffolk.

What vehicle(s) do you own?

BMW 328 Touring.

What is your favourite film?

Mel Brooks'The Producers - clever and hilarious after repeat viewings.

What is your favourite book?

The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz.

What is your favourite 'design classic'?

The Airstream trailer.

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

A toss-up between the MI6 building in Vauxhall and the DHSS building in Leeds.Post-Modernism has a lot to answer for.

Who or what is your biggest architectural influence and why?

Cedric Price - iconoclast, lateralthinker, effectively redefines what an architect should be about.

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

Renzo Piano - only briefly and intermittently when I worked for Piano + Rogers.

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

An archaeologist or a film-maker.

What would your advice be to architectural students?

Always believe you can change the world.

What would your motto be?

Love and peace.

John Lyall John Lyall Architects

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