Politician and academic – not to mention architect – the new RIBA
president certainly has the CV to tackle the top post in British
architecture. But does he have the policies?

q: Describe the first building that inspired you.

a: There are two. The art school in India that my father built and  
taught in. And St Pancras station, where I arrived from Tilbury when I  
came from India when I was 12.

q: What was your big breakthrough?

a: I think I'm still waiting for it. It would be both a public  
building and space. I like the idea that the spaces between buildings  
are as important as the buildings.

q: What have you sacrificed for your art?

a: Music. I used to study sitar, but I had to give it up for  
architecture as I wasn't giving enough time to it. So I put my sitar  
in a box in the summer of 1987.