Kingsgate Bridge

Coordinates: 54°46′23″N 1°34′21″W / 54.77306°N 1.57250°W / 54.77306; -1.57250

Kingsgate Bridge

Kingsgate Bridge seen from Durham Students Union, the Cathedral above.
Crosses River Wear
Locale Durham, England
Heritage status Grade I listed
Designer Sir Ove Arup
Engineering design by Ove Arup & Partners
Construction end 1966

Kingsgate Bridge is a striking, modern reinforced concrete construction footbridge across the River Wear, in Durham, England. It is a Grade I listed building.[1] It was personally designed in 1963 by Sir Ove Arup,[1] connecting Bow Lane on the historic peninsula in the centre of Durham to Dunelm House on New Elvet (to which building Arup's studio also contributed), and opened in 1966. Kingsgate Bridge is thought to have been one of Arup's favourite designs of all, he having spent many hours working on every detail of the plans.[2]

Its construction was unusual. The two halves were each built parallel to the river, then rotated through 90° to make the crossing.[3] The meeting point of the two halves is marked by a simple bronze expansion joint.[4]

In 1965, the bridge was the winner of the Civic Trust Award.[5]

In 1993, it won Certificate of Outstanding Performance (Mature Structures Category) of the Concrete Society.[6]

A bust of Arup, cast in resin, was installed on the side of Dunelm House, the students' union building adjacent to the bridge, in September 2011. The sculpture is a copy of a 1987 bust by Diana Brandenburger, held by the National Portrait Gallery.[7][8] It is a replacement for a previous copy of the same bust, in bronze, which was unveiled by Karin Perry, Arup's daughter, on 16 April 2003, the 108th anniversary of Arup's birth, but which was stolen from its plinth during the summer of 2006.[9]

During a university RAG Week in the early 1960s students suspended a car beneath the bridge.[10]

In February 1998, the Durham Students' Union president, Tom Joyce, fell through the bridge, but caught himself and was uninjured.[11]


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kingsgate Bridge.
  1. 1 2 Historic England. "Details from image database (469295)". Images of England.
  2. "Plaque Commemorates Birth Place of Sir Ove Arup - Engineer and Philosopher". Arup,. 15 June 2000. Archived from the original on 2004-04-22.
  3. Rennsion, Robert William; Barbey, M.F. (1996). Civil engineering heritage. Thomas Telford. ISBN 978-0-7277-2518-9.
  4. "Kingsgate bridge". Arup. Archived from the original on 2010-05-21.
  5. "Sir Ove Arup and Durham". Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  6. "Kingsgate Bridge: Work Suspended". Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  7. "World-renowned engineer Sir Ove Arup honoured with unveiling of new bust". Durham University. 28 September 2011. Archived from the original on 2014-08-22.
  8. NPG 5968; Sir Ove Arup
  9. Statue thieves Arup to no good, The Northern Echo, 6 November 2006
  10. "Image of car suspended beneath the bridge". Archived from the original on 2011-06-04.
  11. Minutes of the meeting of DSU Council held 18 February 1998
Next bridge upstream River Wear Next bridge downstream
Elvet Bridge  Kingsgate Bridge Prebends Bridge 
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