Kingsgate Bridge, Durham, UK

Ove Arup
Date Built
River Wear, Durham
The Grade 1 Listed Kingsgate Bridge soars high above the River Wear below the magnificent cathedral.  It is claimed that its architect, Ove Arup, regarded it as his finest work, and this is the man who included among his illustrious projects the Sydney Opera House.  A bust of the man sits on the side of his nearby Dunelm House.

At an exhibition in the Victoria & Albert Museum in November of 2016 entitled "Arup - Engineering the World", there were a number of documents on display about the bridge.  The text explained that:

"The concept of two identical halves was linked to an ingenious construction method illustrated here.  To eliminate the need for complicated scaffolding over the river, Ove devised a scheme for casting the bridge on-site in two halves, one on each bank.  The halves were then swivelled out from the banks to meet, rotating 90 degrees into their final position.

Ove supervised the project to its completion.  He attended the final construction stage when the two bridge halves were rotated into place.  The operation took only 40 minutes - a testament to the ingenuity of the scheme."

Concrete Quarterly described the result as, "A thin, taut, white band stretching horizontally across the valley, resting on a pair of slender tapered fingers".