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Meet the family – Marie Magnien

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We are delighted to welcome Marie to our Studio. Marie joins us from Marseille and is working among the team as a Part I Architectural Assistant. A long standing Anglophile with an enviable sketch book, we spoke to Marie over a strong brew and got to know her a little better.

What is your favourite piece of architecture or place to visit in the UK – Why?

It is very difficult to choose just one. I love Brutalist architecture and I am very lucky because London is a perfect city to admire some fine examples of this kind of architecture. Nevertheless, even if I love the Barbican or Alexandra Road estate, my all time favourite building is not in the UK but in Marseille, my hometown. For me nothing can beat the Unité d’Habitation of Marseille by Le Corbusier. However, if I had to choose my favourite in London, it would be Sir John Soane’s Museum. An architect designing a house to display his art collection sounds too good to be true. This place is truly fascinating and unique. The museum fits the city so well because like London it can be eccentric and magical while being sophisticated.

What do you do for fun, relax or unwind?

I love walking and discovering new areas of London. I can walk for hours. I also love drawing, I have been exhibiting some works in cafes and have had some private commissions. When I am not outside or exploring the city I can be working on a new drawing or having brunch, chatting about ‘everything and nothing’ with my friends.

Where is your favourite place to eat and cocktail of choice?

My favourite place to eat in London is the french restaurant Bistrotheque in Victoria Park. The food is very good and well presented. Still my favourite restaurant is in Marseille – why did I even move ? It is the tapas restaurant La Tasca. It never disappoints. The food is absolutely delicious and the decoration of the place is charming, very relaxing with majestic candlesticks and a covered patio. They do amazing cocktails as well, my favourite – a frozen margarita.

What is your favourite most inspirational Country? Why?

At present my favourite country I have visited is Portugal and the city of Porto. Very good for architecture aficionados, Portuguese architects are some of the best in the world.

What is your favourite season and why?

Spring ! Especially in London ! As a Mediterranean person, I am allergic to winter, so the first rays of sun and the first flower blooms make me oh so very happy.

If you could visit/ experience any piece of architecture in the world where would you go and why?

Probably in the USA to see the work of the master Louis Kahn. I would love to stand in the atrium of the Exeter Library.

What is your favourite film?

I am not very good at film, I do not watch that much TV. I like ‘500 days of Summer’. It is a romantic film so it is good when you want to disconnect. But still the soundtrack is very good and the hero is an Architect!

Who do you find inspiring?

From a young age I always knew I wanted to come and live in London. I took after school English lessons , my English teacher was such an inspiration for me. She never went to uni (she does not have any A-levels or qualifications) but she moved to London when she was 18 and managed to work in PR for the best fashion brands in the UK. She even opened her own agency when she was in her early 20’s. She used to tell us so many incredible stories and her neighbour was Ringo Starr! She is the perfect definition of “if you want, you can”. She inspired me to come to London because everything is possible in this city !

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

“If you want, you can !”