By Peter Davey
Das Londoner Architekturbüro Wilkinson Eyre Architects macht seit den 1990er Jahren durch eine Vielzahl innovativer und fantasievoller Bauten auf sich aufmerksam. Ein Schwerpunkt bilden spektakuläre und konstruktiv anspruchsvolle Brücken, zu deren bekanntesten die Gateshead Millennium Bridge (2001) und die Floral highway Bridge (2003) gehören.
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Additional resources for Exploring Boundaries: The Architecture of Wilkinson Eyre
In the centre of the main aisle, the ali pavilion (left) 18 clearly visible to the right at high level, and the eJJiptical shape of the water pavilion can be seen below to the left of the walkway The fire pavilion, located at the far end of the space, glows red through the entrance slot and provides a dramatic destination in ns own nght (bottom) Shown m detail, the strong contrast between contemporary red OR? The fire pavilion, a charred black box-actually covered in claddmg and the traditional a proprietary composite cladding, is dramatically suspended matenals of the old steelworks from the main structure with main support trusses spanning can be seen (main image) 41m across the two main aisles.
Wilkinson Eyre's work is as much concerned with its human implications as its artistic ones, but the architects are not afraid of asserting their artistic nature. They think of their designs as fusions of art and science, but the art component is just as important as the technological one. By mentioning some of Wilkinson Eyre's relationships to British traditions like the picturesque, Puginism and High Tech, I do not wish to imply that they are in the least provincial. As the projects shown here demonstrate, their approaches of searching out the specificity of programme and place, of relating contemporary life to history and context, and of reconciling art and technology, work wherever they are applied.
Such elements are made from specially patterned, perforated stainless steel, so during the day they seem reassuringly solid, but at night they glow with internal illumination, as part of the continuous and continuously variable lighting of the decks. Extraordinarily, detailed design helps keep the crossing clean, for anything loose dropped onto the decks rolls into special traps at each end of the bridge every time it is opened. Unusually, both professions and public agree that the bridge is a masterpiece: a remarkable fusion of picturesque sensibility, engineering excellence, careful detailing and sheer invention It really does seem to be putting Gateshead on the map as the Council that commissioned it intended.
Exploring Boundaries: The Architecture of Wilkinson Eyre by Peter Davey