At the end of another busy year, here is a reminder of some of the interviews that stood out for our readers


Every week Building talks to the key people working in construction.

We meet industry leaders, key players and also the innovators who are changing the way we work.

>>See also: Best columns and opinion pieces

Here we have compiled a list of the most-read interviews from the past year.  

1. ‘Nobody believes them any more’… HOK’s Daniel Hajjar considers what is wrong with UK politics and the planning system

Published December

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After 20 years in the Middle East, HOK’s managing principal of Europe, the Middle East and Africa moved to the UK, where, eight years on, he tells Tom Lowe that the political ‘flakiness’ of the country has made it an infuriating place to build.

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2. Why have buildings become so boring? Thomas Heatherwick launches his campaign for change

Published October

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The Heatherwick Studio founder takes Tom Lowe on a tour of the area around his King’s Cross HQ and outlines the philosophy behind his mission to put the soul back into building design

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3. ‘I don’t seek permission, I ask for forgiveness’ – Muyiwa Oki on his plans for his RIBA presidency

Published September

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RIBA’s first black president - and its youngest - did not tell his bosses at Mace that he was running for the role. He is someone who wants to do things his own way, but how much will his promises to shake up the 188-year-old institute run up against its strict processes?

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The Building the Future Commission

This year as well as news, features and comment pieces Building has run a series of articles to accompany the year-long Building the Future Commission.

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Since January we have been examining radical and challenging ideas that could unlock the potential of the construction industry with the help of our panel of commissioners and via a series of regional roundtable debates in partneship with Constructing Excellence.

The commission aims to tap into innovative ideas, amplify them and be an agent for change. The project has involved initiatives such as a Young Person’s Advisory Panel and consultation with the wider industry on ideas across eight topic areas, namely skills and education, energy and net zero, housing and planning, infrastructure, building safety, project delivery, workplace culture and leadership and creating communities.

The commission will publish its full report, with recommendations for change next month.

4. ‘The fines are massive.’ The NFDC’s boss on that investigation and why demolition firms are the binmen of construction

Published August

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The trade body’s new chief executive Duncan Rudall had a lot to deal with in his first two months at the helm. He tells Dave Rogers about the fall-out following the CMA’s years-long investigation into allegations of bid-rigging and compensation payments in the demolition industry

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5. ‘I love developing, contracting, designing’ – Gary Neville on his journey from pitch to property

Published August


Having weathered a recession, a planning rejection, a change of architects and financial backers and then a pandemic, the Former Man United and England footballer’s vision of building a five-star hotel, residential and commercial scheme in the centre of Manchester is finally on site. He sits down with Daniel Gayne to discuss his real estate career

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6. ‘It’s great, I admit it’ – Populous’s Chris Lee (and Arsenal fan) on Tottenham’s stadium and keeping the firm’s strategy simple

Published July


The boss of the go-to sports and entertainment architect speaks to Dave Rogers about why business has never been better and what makes a good stadium. Perhaps unfortunately, the one that his firm built for his team’s north London rivals appears to be one of the best. 

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7. ‘Sometimes you pinch yourself.’ The boy from the Chester semi running €4bn Arcadis

Published June

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Alan Brookes was appointed chief executive of Arcadis in the summer. He tells Dave Rogers that more consolidation in the sector is inevitable, why we should have just got on and built HS2 and how he once enjoyed singing for his supper

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8. ‘The day I convince myself I know everything is the day I go’: an interview with Bam’s John Wilkinson

Published May


The well-travelled former trainee engineer at Clugtson is nearly two years into his job of running the £2.8bn turnover firm as chief operating officer, a newly created role, of Bam’s UK and Ireland business. He talks margins, a changing industry and the Iron (Scunthorpe United to you and me) with Dave Rogers

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9. ‘We’re the victims of short-term policy-making’: Interview with Jennie Daly

Published May

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The chief executive of Taylor Wimpey thinks that a national housing strategy is needed to save the country from its current planning paralysis. One year into her job, Jennie Daly told Joey Gardiner her plans for the business – and why UK housebuilders need to “repair” their reputation

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10. Steve Morgan interview: ‘It’s like the government wants to destroy the industry’

Published March

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The Redrow founder says the government is letting down the industry and giving in to opponents of development. Joey Gardiner asked the former Tory donor if he will be helping the party again

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11. ‘Just get on and build the thing.’ John Armitt goes in to bat for HS2

Published March

John Armitt

The chair of the National Infrastructure Commission on why politics can never be taken out of building and why we should stop dithering. Dave Rogers reports

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