Gateshead Millennium Bridge
Tyne and Wear
Wilkinson Eyre Architects 2002
Gateshead Millennium Bridge is
one of several linked regeneration projects along 'Gateshead Quays', and
plays the essential role of linking this area accessibly to the center of
Newcastle. It is a tilting bridge, but in a completely original and
The pedestrian and cycle pathway
is an almost-horizontal curve, suspended above the river from a
just-beyond-the-vertical parabolic arch. To raise the bridge, this whole
assemble rotates as a single, rigid structure. As the arch tilts lower,
the pathway rises, each counterbalancing the other so that a minimum of
energy is needed. The simplicity of the idea, and the geometry of the
curves at each stage of the bridge's move (and in its rest state) are
The bridge won the Royal
Institute of British Architects' Stirling Prize in 2002. It has also
proved a popular icon locally, and appears to be well used recreationally
despite a slight but noticeable degree of wobble in the middle of the
The Gateshead Millennium Bridge
takes its place at the end of a line of distinguished bridges across the
Tyne, including the Tyne Bridge and Robert Stephenson's High Level Bridge,
which can be seen well from the new bridge. It's a demanding position,
which this bridge well deserves.
If there is one quibble, it is
with the posts and rods in the river that guide shipping towards the
center of the channel where the curve of the raised bridge gives the
maximum height. It is the bridge's design that requires these guide posts,
but they show no sign of having been anticipated or treated as part of the
esthetic design of the structure, which is a pity.
Simon Glynn 2004 (updated 2007)
How to visit
The bridge connects Gateshead's
South Shore Road with Newcastle's Quayside.
The nearest Metro stop is Manors
(though Monument is only a short walk).
bridge opens at pre-announced times as well as in response to shipping
needs at other times. Opening times may vary by week; check for times and
other visitor information at www.gateshead.gov.uk.
may also be interested to visit Foster and Partners' The
Sage at the Gateshead end of the bridge.
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