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The Eden Project

Many of the so-called Millenium Projects were howling disasters but not all of them!

The Eden Project in Cornwall, inspired by Tim Smit and designed by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners is a massively popular destination.

It combines educational facilities, research and is a stunning tourist attraction all designed and built on a theme of sustainability and is the most successful Millenium Project in the UK.

It used Value and Risk Management in overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles in fund raising, design and construction.

It opened ahead of schedule within the budget and has exceeded all expectations.

The Tate Modern

Tate Modern opened in May 2000. The conversion from power station to art gallery cost £134 miilion.

The gallery houses the national collection of international and modern contemporary art in the former Bankside power station. The building was converted by the leading Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron. Tate Modern received three million visitors in the first six months of opening, and is one of London's most popular arts venues.

The London Eye

Another very successful Millenium project.

The London Eye is the largest observational wheel in the world and since it officially opened in 1999 it has quickly established itself as a celebrated landmark on the south bank of the River Thames and has flourished as a tourist attraction -- 3.5 million people took a "flight" in 2006.

The London Eye weighs in at 1,900 tonnes. It uses two types of cable -- wheel cables and backstay cables. The 64 wheel cables, which stretch across to the central spindle, work in much the same way as bicycle spokes in supporting the outer rim.

A total of 3,400 tonnes of concrete were used to create the foundations -- 2,200 for the A-frame legs and 1,200 for the six backstay cables.

Designed by Marks Barfield Architects the London Eye is 135 meters tall and has 32 passenger capsules which complete a full rotation in 30 minutes. At peak height, on a clear day, passengers can see for over 25 miles.

The winner of countless awards, the London Eye has excited and amazed the critics and public alike.

The Falkirk Wheel

Ingenious and architecturally striking, the Falkirk Wheel was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002 as part of celebrations to mark her Golden Jubilee.

It is the only rotating boat lift in the world and it reconnects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal and restores the link between the east and west coasts of Scotland. Previously a series of eleven locks were in operation at the site, but they fell into disrepair and were demolished in the 1960's.

The wheel consists of two 15m steel arms -- reminiscent in shape of the Celtic crusader axe -- which house 80,000 gallon gondolas. Boats -- up to 20m in length -- enter a gondola at the top or bottom. With the aide of gravity, Archimedes' principle of buoyancy and eight hydraulic motors, boats are gently lifted or lowered 35m and continue on with their journey.

Costing just £17.5m the Falkirk Wheel is a modern engineering landmark of distinction which attracts thousands of tourists every year.

Will Witt comments:

I know that some of the above projects went over budget - but they were all opened more or less on time and have been very successful since then.

What impresses me about these projects is that they were all immensely complex - when compared for instance with the Millenium Dome or the Spinnaker Tower.

It clearly demonstrates that technical complexity is not a barrier to project success!

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