Millennium Bridge Gateshead – miles better
Architects seldom get the opportunity to design bridges. Chris Wilkinson and Jim Eyre of Wilkinson Eyre have made a name for clear structural expression, with poetry too, in their recent works. Now, the £22 million Gateshead Millennium Bridge linking Gateshead with adjoining Newcastle over the river Tyne is open: and it’s a small masterpiece. (The engineers were Gifford and Partners.) The bridge comprises a l60 ft high angled arch, and the crossing is along such a curve, on a very shallow trajectory. It is hardly the shortest route between the two points, and there lies the poetry. It is superbly programmed for lighting, which creates an urban monument to which all Tynesiders can relate. This bridge opens to allow tidal traffic. The only disappointment in many plus points is that the public cannot, as in the London Eye, actually sit on the seats provided on the bridge as it moves. Now, that really would be something.