Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Gateshead Millennium Bridge Tilts and Lights Up the Night in England


The Gateshead Millennium Bridge, located in Newcastle, England is one the most unique bridges in the world for two reasons: its tilting walkway and its architectural lighting. The Gateshead Millennium Bridge, completed in 2001, is the world’s first tilt ridge, meaning that the pedestrian walkway tilts along a 90˚ arc to make for the ships traveling along the River Tyne, the river the bridge spans. Though the bridge is undoubtedly a remarkable feat of imaginative engineering, it also features noteworthy architectural lighting. According to lighting design firm Speirs & Major, the tilting walkway presented the firm with a unique opportunity to not only use the bridge and its suspending arch as a lighting element, but to use the underside of the walkway to capitalize on the river’s reflective surface so that it could also be as an architectural texture of the bridge’s lighting. On both sides of the walkway and on the suspending arch as well, linear LED modules provide white light and on occasion color changing light that achieves a captivating effect. Metal halide lamps are also used to signal that the bridge will be tilting to allow a ship to pass underneath.

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