Chris Wilkinson

Kultureflash #179, 4th October 2006

It’s worth strolling down Floral Street once in a while, not to see the inexplicably popular standy-still-statue people, but rather to gaze skyward at a rather ingenious and beautiful footbridge by architects Wilkinson Eyre. A series of squares rotate across the void to connect two awkwardly offset openings — anything but pedestrian. In an age of architectural hyper-production, it’s tempting to make sense of things by inventing an “ism”. (Deconstructivism, anyone?) At best, the labelling of architects can favour style over substance. At worst, it’s just plain wrong. You could claim that Wilkinson Eyre’s work has its roots in high tech — true in a sense, but it doesn’t help to describe their work. Best known for some of their bridge designs, which include that most delicate of Stirlingwinning structures, Gateshead Millennium Bridge, as well as some closer to home, there’s a strong theme of poetry rather than prose. Chris Wilkinson has described himself and partner Jim Eyre as “more artists than technicians”, and as their projects become increasingly expressive, it’s easy to see what he means.

NB: Wilkinson Eyre: Architecture On The Ramp is on display at the RA till 13/11.C

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