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'Daring' Eye scoops gold in new British art awards

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Marks Barfield's London Eye won a gold award at the annual British Art Design & Direction event yesterday (Wednesday). The Eye, entered in the 'design for leisure' category, beat Foster and Partners' glass house for the National Botanic Gardens of Wales and Alsop & Stormer's Peckham Library.

The awards recognize achievement in the design industry and 'iconic and absolutely seminal' work from architecture, product design, graphics and radio commercials.

Dale Jennings, director of ORMS and foreman of the awards' architecture jury, described the Eye as 'innovative' and 'daring'.

'It pushes the boundaries of what is possible. It is completely iconic. You don't get many pieces of architecture like that in your lifetime, ' he told the AJ.

Jennings described the Glasshouse as 'totally professional, cleverly done and Foster at his most low-key and subtle best', and he praised the Peckham Library as 'in your face'.

He added that architects should be more prepared to see their work judged alongside that of other designers - and should even be judged by non-architects. 'Architects are far too insular. Just look at where the RIBA head office is located. It has absolutely nothing to do with anything else - nothing to do with art, television, culture. We're just too superior.'

Casson Mann's '. . .Comment' information wall at the Science Museum's Wellcome Wing also won a gold.

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