In the frame: David Dunbar

David Dunbar
David Dunbar

The past president of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and current chair of the Festival of Architecture 2016

How has your style evolved over the years? It has got a lot more casual and looser by at least two sizes.

Who or what are your biggest influences? I have been fortunate over the years to have met and worked with a number of people whose enthusiasm and sheer talent have been inspirational – architects like David Mackay from Barcelona and Kathryn Findlay who hailed from Forfar but who undertook brilliant projects in Japan. Both, sadly, are no longer with us, but their legacy endures.

Who is your design hero? The late Professor Andy MacMillan was one of the greats of post-war architecture, but I will remember him as a man who lived his life to the full, remained true to his Maryhill roots and was one of the most life-affirming people I have met. Coincidentally, one of his (and Isi Metzstein’s) projects, St Peter’s College at Cardross, is the venue for the opening event of the Festival of Architecture in March.

What is your favourite building? Grand Central Terminal in New York City (pictured below) – one of the world’s great public spaces, and recently restored to its former glory.

Describe your dream home Something glazed and balconied on the coast with a view either of the Mediterranean or the West Sands at St Andrews.

What is your own home like? I live in a Victorian townhouse overlooking the Botanic Gardens in Glasgow. It’s filled with art and mementos accumulated over 35 years by my wife and me and our three daughters. The style is eclectic. I would always choose comfort over style.

What makes a home? Family and friends, coupled with good food and wine, to the strains of The Boss.

How do you relax? Long walks with our puppy, an energetic fox terrier, or sitting in seat FF77 at Firhill’s Jackie Husband stand, enduring the trials and tribulations of being a Partick Thistle season-ticket holder. I also find a leisurely lunch with friends and a wee glass of something red can take the edge off a difficult day.

Which iconic interior product do you wish you had designed? The SpeetBox wood-burning stove by Philippe Starck – a thing of function and beauty. In fact, almost anything by Philippe Starck.

What are you sitting on right now? A couch in the lounge of my home, looking out the bay window across the roof of the Kibble Palace towards the spires of Oran Mor and Glasgow University – familiar but always inspiring.

What is Scotland’s greatest attribute? Its people and their wry sense of humour.