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A bridge too far?


The recent debate on architects versus engineers when it comes to bridge design has, I believe, swung in favour of engineers if the result of the Clifton Crossing Competition is anything to go by (NCE 13 July).

While I offer my congratulations to Youssef Ghali on his winning design, it was a little disconcerting to see that questions arising over whether the bridge could actually work or be built did not affect the result.

Maybe our entry, which was not shortlisted, was too easy to build and worked too well.

I only wished we had gone for the helium balloon option we dismissed during our scheme design.

Stephen Ross, design engineer, Stephen.ross@whitbybird. com

Span spin

The judges of the Clifton Crossing Competition awarded first and runners-up prizes to designs that 'would need to be substantially reworked structurally as there were serious flaws in their design'.

They say that the winner 'inspires a feeling of soaring - almost bird-like - above the Avon'. A flightless bird perhaps?

More importantly, why was engineering adequacy not considered vital by the judges of a competition held to mark Brunel's bicentenary?

John Parker, Technical Director, WSP Cantor Seinuk, Buchanan House, 24-30 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HS

Editor's note: just to clarify, the point of the competition - as the brief stated - was not to find completed designs but to identify inspiring, workable structures to rival the elegance and engineering of the Clifton Bridge.

The winner, felt the judges, had its structural problems but overall did this.

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