Dublin’s new Beckett Bridge, designed by Santiago Calatrava. Photograph: PA

Can there ever have been a more appropriate memorial to a writer than the new Samuel Beckett bridge that opened in Dublin on 10 December? The several thousand tons of steel deck and pylon were fabricated in a factory in Rotterdam, then carried across the sea by a barge labouring in the churning swell. A stately bridge carried over the turbulent water by a boat? Here’s a conceit so surreal it makes Waiting for Godot read like a cereal packet.

The designer was Santiago Calatrava, the Valencian architect who has made expressionist bridges and weirdly torqued structures a trademark. Never mind that Beckett made a virtue of muted understatement. The writer once said “Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness”. Calatrava does not think that way. He’s in the landmark business.

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Stephen Bayley
Guardian

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