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ANOTHER EYEFUL

Consultant Gifford's £22M 'blinking eye' Gateshead Millennium Bridge this week scooped the Stirling Prize, architecture's top award. It is the first time a bridge has won the Royal Institute of British Architecturebacked prize. Stretching 126m over the Tyne, the bridge's steel arch and deck pivot together from their common springing points and can be rotated through 55infinity to provide 25m headroom for shipping. The judges described the bridge as 'eminently simple: a pair of arches - one is the deck, the other supports the deck. The whole bridge tilts, undergoing a metamorphosis into a grand archà the engineering challenge is immense, the solution innovative, bold and engaging'. Built by contractors Harbour & General and Volker Stevin, the Geordie icon has also been shortlisted for the British Construction Industry Awards. Architect was Wilkinson Eyre.

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