Ivan Harbour, 48, director, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
When Building interviewed Ivan Harbour in 2000, he worked for Richard Rogers Partnership. His aim for the decade was to stay where he was and, as the new name of the practice attests, that’s what he did. “I’ve been working for Richard for 25 years now and I’d say the big change for me is being on the letterhead. And the best part is that, despite the change, I’m still foremost an architect.”
His high points over the past 10 years are all linked to being recognised by peers through awards such at the Stirling prize, which the practice has won twice for buildings he oversaw the design of - London’s Maggie’s Centre and Madrid Airport.
His low point, as for many others, was having to make people redundant: “It made me feel very responsible indeed,” he says. “And I never want to have to repeat that.”
In terms of the next 10 years, Harbour says: “I expect I’ll be more of a mentor than I have been because that way you can help people come up with really bright ideas that they can develop and use to work towards the future.”
In 2000, he said he didn’t have a hero and he hasn’t found one since: “If you have a hero, and you meet them, they’ll always be disappointing, because they are just people. The concept of heroes has never really crossed my mind.”
And finally, what would he advise a 21-year-old? “Don’t take drugs, don’t be deflected from ambitious ideas, no matter how crazy they are, and be yourself.”