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Transformational Infrastructure

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Martin Knight is one of the leading UK architects specialising in the design of bridges and transport infrastructure. His career has included periods spent on building sites and in engineering as well as architectural practices, and his approach to design and construction has always been informed by the practical application of artistic principles, balancing aesthetics with engineering and visual logic.

Martin founded Knight Architects in 2006 and the twenty-strong studio is now the leading UK architectural practice specialising in bridge design. Active worldwide, Knight Architects has completed more than thirty bridges and has won several high-profile international design competitions, including the €90m Kruunusillat bridge in Helsinki, Finland. Among many project-specific awards, the practice was named Specialist Consultant of the Year in the NCE /ACE Consultants of the Year Awards 2015 and BD Infrastructure Architect of the Year 2017.

Wherever we are in the world, we associate bridges with a sense of place and this distinctiveness is reassuring to people and explains the broad popular appeal of bridge design. Whether it is about improving connectivity, generating civic pride, or creating a focal point that brings increased footfall, bridges’ added value and reinforcement identity. The transformational transport infrastructure of past eras, exemplified by the works or brilliant engineers like Brunel and Eiffel, is a powerful reminder that time passes quickly yet quality endures. As we consider the design of new bridges and transport infrastructure, how do we keep these values in mind as well as that of our predecessors?

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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