Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates for English Heritage
225ft-span steel bridge providing level access to Tintagel Castle, comprising two cantilevers with a gap in the middle to allow for expansion. Footway of slate quarried locally from Delabole, with handrails in oak and stainless steel balustrades designed to be fine enough to disappear against the sky when viewed from a distance.
This was a challenging assignment, given the terrain and the sensitivity of the site as both an ancient monument and a place of natural beauty. How best to complement the dramatic context? The answer is not timidity but the kind of boldness that suits the rough and raw Atlantic coast of Cornwall. The designers, necessarily, have understood every inch of their canvas and from an intellectual response to the engineering requirements have generated something graceful, perfectly poised, restrained: nothing here is unnecessary but what is necessary has been finessed to the point of beauty. The result is a functional and aesthetic triumph, a striking footpath to a spectacle that is a spectacle in itself: it is perfectly possible to imagine that, as with other fine bridges, this will become much more than a means of spanning a void and become an attraction in its own right.