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Tuesday, 11 June, 2002, 20:22 GMT 21:22 UK
'Blinking-eye' bridge lands award
Gateshead Millennium Bridge
The bridge has won several design awards
Gateshead's 'blinking-eye' bridge has landed a major honour.

The 22m Millennium Bridge has won the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) annual award.

Now the landmark, which spans the River Tyne between Gateshead and Newcastle, can bid for the 22,000 RIBA Stirling Prize.

The bridge, which uses a unique tilting mechanism to open, was the centrepiece of the Queen's jubilee visit to Tyneside in May.


The engineering challenge is immense, the solution innovative, bold and engaging

RIBA judge, Jeffrey Bell

The re-worked Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens and the Tyneside Cinema, were also shortlisted for the RIBA award.

Chair of the RIBA judging panel Jeffrey Bell, said: "The wonder of this project speaks for itself and the level of achievement is of the highest order.

"The idea is eminently simple. Every aspect of the bridge, from conception and detail through to execution, is simple and incredibly elegant.

'Major contribution'

"We can certainly imagine the drama created when the bridge opens to allow watercraft to pass underneath. The engineering challenge is immense, the solution innovative, bold and engaging."

Councillor Mick Henry, Leader of Gateshead Council, said: "We are delighted to have won yet another prestigious national award. This is something which again puts Gateshead on the international map.

"I am especially pleased that our bridge has not just been recognised as a major contribution to the Tyne riverscape - which it undoubtedly is - but it as an innovative and unique piece of British engineering and design in its own right."

The foot and cycle bridge, designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, was opened to the public in September 2001.


Click here to go to Tyne
See also:

17 May 02 | UK
27 Mar 02 | England
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