Eye to eye with David Marks and Julia Barfield
On the face of it, and certainly to most members of the general public, the London Eye has been a huge success, both commercially and technically. And it is. It has captured the hearts and minds of Londoners and established overnight, one of the most significant architectural landmarks in Europe. London has its Eiffel Tower. However, it came at a huge cost. A cost that is in some respects, still being paid today.
Realising an ambitious vision against all odds is something that must be close to most architects’ hearts and this story is an epic. The London Eye, formally known as the Millennium Wheel was one of many projects conceived to celebrate the turn of the Millennium. Countess other schemes did not make it off the drawing board. This project only came to life through the sheer determination and uncompromising passion of the Marks Barfield team.
The story of how the wheel came to be built is documented and illustrated in a new book, Eye, published this month, but life after the wheel had a few surprises for the architects. Being “typecast” is usually the role of actors and film stars but Marks Barfield still have to work hard to communicate their range of skills to new clients and avoid being type-cast as creators of attractions.
Listen to WAN’s exclusive interview with David Marks and Julia Barfield
Thumbnail images: (from left to right) Image 1 - Brighton i360, Images 2 & 3 - the Lightbox and Image 4 0 Kew Gardens Treetop Walkway & Rhizotron.