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Architect role


It is becoming increasingly clear that London's Millennium Bridge will never open for unrestricted public access. As the Tyne footbridge is now nearing completion (NCE last week) it would be interesting to compare the relative roles played by each of the professions in the concept and development of the two designs.

I have no personal experience of either structure but I suggest that London's bridge looks like it was conceived by an architect on the basis of appearance alone with the engineer simply told to make it work.

The Tyne bridge on the other hand was obviously an engineering concept developed with the, no doubt valuable, assistance of an architect.

The result of these alternative attitudes to design is that we have one very elegant and functional design and one complete disaster which will haunt both professions for many years.

A bridge is an engineering structure and the role of the architect should be confined to designing the handrails and choosing the colour scheme.

Arthur Newton (F) Hegglehead, Hutton Roof, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 OXS

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