Millennium Bridge

Foster + Partners, Arup, London, 2000


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View towards the north bank and St Paul's Cathedral from the bridge 

Nigel Young     Download Original

  • View towards the north bank and St Paul    
  • Built high enough to allow for river transport to go underneath     
  • The bridge has a linear relationship to  St Paul    
  • Crowds cross the River Thames    
  • Designed to be a sculptural link    
  • The bridge appears very lightweight     
  • Suspension detail    
  • View of the bridge at night    
  • Shallow suspension allows for unobstructed views    
  • The only pedestrian crossing    
  • Y-Shaped armature    
  • Tourists enjoy the unobstructed views across London    
  • Linking the north and south banks of the Thames by night    
  • Plan    
  • Section    
  • Concept sketch    
  • Concept sketch    
  • concept sketch    

Shallow suspension bridge spanning 320 metres across the River Thames solely for pedestrian use

Two Y-shaped armatures support eight cables that run along the sides of the four-metre-wide deck, while steel transverse arms clamp onto the cables at eight-metre intervals to support the deck itself.

This means that the cables never rise more than 2.3 metres above the deck, allowing uninterrupted panoramic views of London and preserving sight lines from the surrounding buildings. This gives the bridge a thin profile, forming a slender arc across the water.

In its first weekend 100,000 people crossed the bridge. Under this heavy traffic the bridge exhibited greater than expected lateral 'wobbling' movement, and as a result it was temporarily closed. Research and testing revealed that this movement was caused by synchronised pedestrian footfall. The solution was to fit dampers discreetly beneath the deck to absorb movement.


  • Begun: Apr 1999
  • Completed: Jun 2000
  • Sector: Public realm
  • Total cost: £18.2M
  • Address: Millennium Bridge, Thames Embankment, London, EC4V 3QH, United Kingdom

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