20 December 2017

BAMPOTs make headlines

It already seems so long ago since I announced the winner of the Bridge Awards for Mediocrity and Plain Old Terribleness, the BAMPOTs. The Millennium Bridge in Ourense, Spain, received the garland for the worst structure, winning by a comfortable margin (photo courtesy Victor Hermida Prada).

Now, local news site La Voz de Galicia has picked up on this momentous news, with a feature which opens:
Does the Millennium Bridge of Ourense deserve a distinction for mediocrity? The jury of a UK-driven award has no mercy: "It's tormenting"
Some of the comments on the site are interesting, such as this one (translated via Google, so apologies if I haven't got it quite right):
This judgement is curious coming from British experts. In the United Kingdom it is very common indeed to see ultramodern architectures cohabiting with ancient monuments.
I will confess to being British, but I will note here that the BAMPOTs jury was international in its origin and experience.

I also liked this comment:
What does the world know? Everything that is done in Galicia is the best in the world, from the magnificent Gaias' mausoleum for honour and memory of the unsurpassed Fraga, passing through this bridge unmatched in beauty and functionality to the Lalín stew that we already know is also the best of the world.
I couldn't quite tell if that one was being ironic or not.

Some of the other comments claim a liking for the bridge, which I find interesting mainly because it illustrates an enduring gulf between professional and non-professional taste. The BAMPOTs were judged by people who have a significant level of expertise in the field, and who are no doubt aware that the public often espouse a different aesthetic to professionals.

I think this is a challenge which is too rarely "bridged": to promote wider understanding of the reasons why professionals see certain attributes as positive or negative, as well as to promote professional sympathy for public views, which are often emotionally rather than intellectually grounded.


Kevin A said...

With regards to the "enduring gulf between professional and non-professional taste" there's multiple examples out there. I'll put out the Kosciusco Bridge in NY, which the engineers were all saying that a box girder could span it with less visual clutter yet the general public elected a cable stayed solution which is not the most efficient for the span length. The result is a nice bridge, definitely not a Bampot.

I wonder if there was a public consultation when proposals were presented for the bridge in Ourense. Did the public choose this?


Yes, I think that it´s even worst. Probably, this bridge should be constructed downstream.