Saturday19 August 2017

Hugh Broughton ‘I did think of studying agriculture’

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The director of Hugh Broughton Architects on Barcelona, The Shard and farming

What got you started?
I have always enjoyed drawing. At an early age my mum told me architects had to draw all day - it soundedgreat. If only it were true!

Who was your most inspiring tutor?
Easy - Isi Metzstein.

Which architect have you learnt the most from?
I did my year out with Michael Manser, who remains an inspiration. My first job after university was with Troughton McAslan. I learnt an enormous amount from John and Jamie.

What is your best project?
I am pretty proud of the Halley Antarctic Research Station, which will open in February.

What project do you most regret losing?
A few years ago we designed a winery in Sussex only to be surplanted by another architect after getting planning consent. The project was eventually cancelled.

What part of the design process do you most enjoy?
Late night, wine, sketchbook, felt pens, ideas flowing.

What is your Achilles’ heel?
Taking work home most nights.

What is your favourite city?
I trained in Edinburgh and I loved it. After getting married my wife and I lived in Barcelona and Madrid, which were vibrant cities. Now we live in London and it is the best of the lot.

What building would you most like to see demolished?
The Shard. I regret not getting more involved in protesting against it. It is a blot on the London skyline and gets worse the closer you get to it.

You can work in whichever city you want at any point in history - where and when?
Venice in the 17th century would have been pretty good for architects. It’s pretty good now.

What one piece of legislation would you introduce?
Increased space requirements for apartments so people can live in homes, not boxes.

What is your favourite architectural book?
The Phaidon Atlas of World Architecture (Travel Edition). I glance through it most mornings.

Complete the sentence: At heart I am a frustrated…
Farmer. At one point in my early 20s I did think about studying agriculture instead of architecture.

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