The Gateshead Millennium Bridge connects the south bank of Gateshead’s Quays and the north bank of the Quayside of Newcastle across the River Tyne. The design seems pretty simple and yet very elegant. The bridge is consisted of two stylish curves, one of which serves as a deck for pedestrians and cyclists, and the other one supports the first one.
The architects, WilkinsonEyre.Architects received numerous awards for this bridge including the 2002 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize, the 2003 Gifford IStructE Supreme Award, and in 2005, the Outstanding Structure Award from International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE), so it is bound to be stunning.
The two mentioned curves form a firm structure that rotates as a whole in order to let the vessels pass underneath. Six hydraulic rams, each equipped with an electric motor with the power of 55kW, make the motion of the Gateshead Millennium Bridge possible.
It takes about four and a half minutes for the bridge to rotate fully and allow boats to pass through. Due to its size, even the curving of the walkway (that lengthens the distance between the banks from 105m to 120m) limits the height of the vessels that can safely pass underneath to 25m.
Shape of the bridge inspired the creative Brits to already give it two nicknames – the ‘Blinking Eye Bridge’ or the ‘Winking Eye Bridge’. The opening motion provides a stunning sight, but even when the bridge is motionless its sleek lines and minimalistic design prove to be very elegant. [via] watch video below
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