Bridging design gap

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 April, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 April, 1997, 12:00am

The thrilling news that one part of the airport project, the Tsing Ma Bridge, which is days away from completion, has been the inspiration for a fascinating exhibition called Living Bridges, to be held at the Science Museum between April 29 and May 11. There is more to this than lots of impressive statistics about concrete towers and reinforced cable.

Living Bridges, which showed in London's prestigious Royal Academy for four months, includes models of Tsing Ma as well as many others. There are the bridges that used to be lived on, such as London Bridge, which was not just a thoroughfare but a street, lined with houses, originally built in 1176 and demolished in 1823. And there are models of what the exhibition planners call the 'fantasy bridges', the ones that never got built, and the world is a lesser place for them. These include Sir Edward Lutyen's 1913 plans to build a bridge art gallery over the River Liffey in Dublin, and the dream, in 1925, of the Russian avant-garde architect Konstantin Melnikov to build a car park for 1,000 vehicles over the Seine.

Winners of the 1996 Thames Water Habitable Bridge Competition, Antoine Grumbach and Associates, are included with their idea to create the Garden Bridge. And Zaha Hadid - who rarely builds but wins a lot of competitions - has his design to build something on the Peak that sadly never came to anything. A little French indecision Eric Rohmer is perhaps the most consistently successful of all the French new-wave film directors. Even though his individual films may not have drawn the accolades of his peers Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut, a whole many critics describe him as the greater man. And as a whole is how we are going to get his work, as part of an excellent programme for this year's French culture-fest, Le French May. There will be screenings of all of his films at the Arts Centre and the Broadway Cinematheque.

Rohmer, who is no Li has made a name for herself with her very funny sculptures, all of which are heavy, not to say obese, figures. They are witty without being cruel, which is no mean feat. 'I find fat people graceful,' she says. 'Their s