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Behind Britian’s best buildings

Ahead of the SohoCreate festival, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw picks his top designs

125 Park Road

“This block of flats by Regent’s Park is known as the ‘sardine’ or ‘biscuit tin’ due to its aluminium cladding. It is listed as a building of historic interest, which is amazing as 40 of us built it for council house costs as a co-ownership housing society. Concrete floors, walls and ceilings and light bulbs on cables…”

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Eden Project

“I’m still very thrilled by this project. Even now we get about a million visitors a year there. I wouldn’t have thought there were enough people left in the country who hadn’t seen it! The whole thing has turned into a large botanic garden, which is wonderful, but it’s a serious project to teach people about the importance of the green side of life.”

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British Pavilion for Seville Expo ’92

“The theme was minimum use of energy and we got the prize. We used solar cells for a current which poured water down the face of the building to cool it down. We then started to get a reputation for sustainability.”

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Lord’s Grand Stand

“When I go to watch the cricket, I try to sit opposite our stand so I can look at it. The big thing was to make it so you had unrestricted views of the ball.”

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Waterloo International station

“We did the Waterloo Eurostar terminal 15 years before St Pancras took over. It was bigger than anything we’d done before and was associated with that excitement of joining Europe. We didn’t go down the tunnel: security was tight and we had prison cells for smugglers, drug dealers and illegal immigrants.”

Join the UK’s top creative minds at SohoCreate on 4-6 June; sohocreate.co.uk

(Images: Neil Keog/Grimshaw; Tess Traeger; Jo Reid & John Peck; Matt Bright; Michael Dyer)