My name is Julia Barfield; I'm in practice with my husband David Marks. We started the practice in 1989. At the time I had been working at Foster Associates and he previously had been working for Richard Rogers. We started and were very fortunate to win a competition which was a fantastic springboard for the practice.
It was a competition to design a bridge for the future, it was organised by the National Engineering Magazine and the Institute of Structural Engineers, and the idea was that it was a bridge that was inspired by nature but very much looking to the future. And we worked with Jane Wernick - an engineer who worked with Arup's at the time - and came up with the idea that the biggest bridge probably that nature had designed was a spine of a dinosaur. We actually based the bridge design on the spine of a dinosaur, in the sense that it was built on one side only, it had a series of vertebrae, the bridge was held in place by tension cables like tendons underneath the bridge, and it was actually in a Y shape so that the actual bridge, which was designed to be a passenger bridge, could take a platform in the top part of the Y. And then when the bridge rested on the other side, the tension cables would actually keep it in place. The bridge won the ideas competition.
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