Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bending Theory

On a recent trip to Newcastle I was ecstatic to discover the Millennium Bridge. Designed by the architecture firm WilkinsonEyre the Bridge rises up into an elongated and elegant bend before descending down onto the opposite bank, counter balanced by a swooping arch that rises into the air to support the base. Walking across the pedestrian bridge, I was full of glee marveling at the simple but profound idea of the bridge producing an indirect path - rather than cut firmly and strictly across the Tyne river the Bridge offers a soft journey, as if proposing that one consider the view, or daydream a bit along the way... It made me appreciate the simple fact that embodied within the Bridge is a form of theoretical perspective that one might begin to apply to the built environment in general. Situationist dérive or fanciful form? Whichever way the Bridge takes the idea of being a pedestrian as an opportunity to explore the surrounding environment, and how radical that such an urban project (costing no doubt millions of pounds) would put forth such a theory of the bend.

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