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astragal

A wonderful advertisement for the joys of architecture appeared in a 16-page Sunday Times supplement last week, although it was really aimed at attracting the young to take up engineering. From the cover showing Rem Koolhaas' Beijing CCTV building to a back-page advertisement, it reminded us that the Eden Project, the Bullring, the 'gherkin' and the Millennium Bridge 'aren't simply the project of the architect; engineers are critical from conception to completion'.

Well, if I were the Institution of Structural Engineers, I would be absolutely delighted, but whether it was what the sponsor had in mind is less clear. The Engineering and Technology Board is much broader than that, but let's not quibble. A very nice piece by Norman Foster included a list of his top engineering collaborators, including Jack Zunz, Tony Hunt, Tony Fitzpatrick and Peter Rice.

He made the crucial point about the importance of engineers to infrastructure and the increased importance of that role in the 21st century, helping to make energy-economical compact cities. We got a visual treat, with nice images of Flint & Neill's three-wing Lancashire bridge (with Wilkinson Eyre), Tom Heatherwick's Paddington rollout bridge and the 'web bridge' by Arup and Denton Corker Marshall across the Yarra in Melbourne - plus Lord F's ideas for Florence Railway Station. Good stuff, which saved the RIBA a lot of money on its promotional budget.

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