A word with Architect John Durkin

Age: Only just 60… why didn’t you ask in December?
Occupation: Architect

What’s your morning routine? 
I religiously spend 30-40 minutes on a series of stretches and exercises to get my body ironed out.
I check the football results and news from England and Europe to get up to speed.
Our office is at my home so it’s a very short commute via the coffee machine .

What are the top three things on your bucket list? 
150th Open Golf at St Andrews – I went to the 100th at Birkdale as a kid.
Spend more time in Italy with Nicky (or anywhere actually).
Write a book about architecture – and why it’s actually not about buildings.

What advice would you give your 20 year-old self? 
Get on with it. Make a decision and go. There’s plenty of time to fix any wrong turns.

How do you stay motivated? 
Seeing people using and enjoying the spaces we’ve made as architects is a real kick.
Trying to be a better man (and figuring out what that means) is a real motivator.

If you didn’t need money, what would you do? 
Design and build the buildings we really need here. The future is mixed use but not many people know that…
Travel. Write. Play better golf.

What is the secret to success? 
The secret is in how you define it… Don’t judge yourself by what you think other people’s success is.

What is the worst mistake you’ve made and how did you fix it?
My biggest mistake was to be too careful and not risk mistakes. Since I fell through a glass coffee table dancing with my wife on the first night we met, I have strived to care a little less about risk…

What is your advice for people to fund their dream?
Talk about it. Other people might know how you can realise it without money, or they may even have some to help you with…

What’s your favourite restaurant? 
Non Solo Pizza in Parnell – super food and atmosphere and the Italian staff love a chat about European football.

How do you keep up to date with current affairs?
Guardian Online. BBC Sports (okay, just football). I often like the way Newstalk ZB’s Hosking and Williams think and sometimes they also pass on what’s happening.

What is the secret of living a longer, more successful life? 
Laughter. Love. Look after your soul. Don’t be too serious.
Apparently whisky and red wine are good for you too.

What makes you feel alive?
Hitting that perfect 4 iron into an elevated green (only happens now and then).
Late afternoon/evening with Nicky in Barolo, Tuscany, Napoli, Amalfi and so on…
Hearing people speak well of any of my four boys (happens more often than the 4 iron thing).