RIBA Stirling Prize 2002
(IABSE) Outstanding Structure Award 2005
Balthazar Neumann Prize 2004
Royal Fine Art Commission Trust Building of the Year Award 2002
Civic Trust Award 2002
Structural Steel Design Award
The Gateshead Millennium Bridge has become a landmark for Gateshead and the Tyne, a river famous for its historic bridges. The bridge was designed to link Newcastle's thriving north bank with Gateshead Quays – the new arts and cultural quarter to the south. The bridge consists of two steel arches – a deck that acts as the pedestrian and cycle path and a supporting arch.
These arches pivot around their common springing point to allow vessels to pass beneath. The motion is efficient and rational, yet dramatic beyond the capabilities of previously explored opening mechanisms. Since the whole bridge tilts, the composition undergoes a metamorphosis into a 'grand arch' of great width and grace, in an operation which evokes the action of a closed eye slowly opening. Visually elegant both when static and in motion, the bridge is spectacular by day and when illuminated by night.
The bridge quickly achieved iconic attraction status, with local, national, and international visitors. During the summer months, non-shipping openings occur daily to satisfy the demand from visitors to Newcastle and Gateshead wishing to see the unique spectacle of the bridge tilting.