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INTERVIEW WITH PROFESSOR IAN RITCHIE CBE RA

At three score years and ten, Academician Professor Ian Ritchie, CBE RA, master architect, is a veritable whirlwind of creativity and industry. Try to e-mail him at any two points in a week’s gap and he’ll be in a different European country each time, back in London at the weekend, or perhaps in his beloved Edinburgh. But you’ll always get a reply and on the same day or hour.

His firm of architects is based in London, his list of projects enormous, from designing hand friendly door handles to entire inner city areas, from a domestic house in a rural setting to a majestic scientific centre. He is currently involved in planning a large area of Malta - twice the size of Canary Wharf - a new central business district, a project anticipating another 100,000 people will move to the island, a real challenge in any architect’s book.

As one would expect he’s garlanded with awards, of which he considers the most significant are the international ones recognising his innovative designs and their impact on global architecture. To get a measure of the man and his achievements readers are referred to his curriculum vitae on the Internet - and set aside half-an-hour to read it.

Ian’s grandfather electrified early WW1 tank turrets so that they could rotate in any direction. His father was born in Edinburgh and won a scholarship to study engineering at Heriot Watt University, but he died when Ian was only eleven. His mother was Welsh, a nurse from Blaina in South Wales. She took on sole responsibility for Ian and his two brothers.

I got to know him when I asked for his help to stop the hillside I’d purchased from sloping off to new ground. Gabion baskets were the answer, an ancient technique Ian had introduced into domestic architecture 25 years ago, the same industrial technique we see holding back high motorway embankments. Later he invited me as a guest speaker to his Edinburgh conference on its future architecture – an honour that took me by surprise.

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iScot May 2017 issue - the one with Theresa May.I.Am front cover 116 jam packed pages of the best craic in Scotland Alyn Smith MEP - " Putting Women down" Robbie Dinwoodie - Our Scottish Grandees Dave Bowman - Nightmare on Downing Street Zoe Weir - The Hiroshima Survivors Derek Bateman - I get it now! Dave Bowman - English for Indy Tom Morton - Brewdog Will McLeod - Letter from America Wee Ginger Dug - The Dug has eyes Blaze's Trail - Glen Nevis Peter A Bell - The Tides of History Grousebeater - Prof Ian Ritchie CBE RA Jason Michael McCann - Our Untaught Union Dr Steve McCabe - Into the Vallies Dr Jamie Reid-Baxter - A Timeless Flame Metal Guru - Jewel in the Highlands Vivien Martin - King's Cave Arran Sir Harry Lauder Poem iSpy iScot Book Review - The Bogeyman Chronicles iScot Short Story - David McVey Major Bloodnok and Mystic Mons Meg Heidbyler Soduko ( No, not Sudoko!) Readers Letters