French civil engineer Michel Virlogeux's Millau Viaduct has been shortlisted for the Royal Institute of British Architects' prestigious 2005 Stirling Prize. Virlogeux designed the soaring 2.5km long, 245m tall, $470M motorway structure with UK architect Lord Norman Foster. Stirling Prize judges said: 'We were constantly reminded of 19th century railway viaducts when we visited Millau. The scale is heroic and the designers are not afraid to seek effect. There is something of the spirit of Brunel's Saltash Bridge in the whole enterprise.
In Millau, as in Saltash, the locals greeted this modern wonder with wild celebrations.'