timeline item
Here is the information we have
on the item you selected
More like this
sign up for our newsletter
© 2018 Engineering Timelines
engineering timelines
explore ... how   explore ... why   explore ... where   explore ... who  
home  •  NEWS  •  search  •  FAQs  •  references  •  about  •  sponsors + links
The Angel of the North
beside the A1, south of Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, UK
associated engineer
Ove Arup & Partners
date  February 1998
era  Modern  |  category  Sculpture/Installation  |  reference  NZ263577
The Angel of the North is the dramatic rust-red steel sculpture designed by artist Antony Gormley that welcomes drivers travelling north on the A1. It has the form of a man, standing tall, with aircraft wing-like arms outstretched in the promise of an embrace.
The Angel of the North occupies the site of a disused colliery on a hill overlooking the road. It stands 20m high and has a wing span of 54m dimensions that required the engineers to use techniques more usually associated with civil engineering projects such as large bridges rather than sculpture. It has been designed to withstand winds of up to 100mph.
The proportions of the figure are based on Gormley himself but the elements that make it up are more reminiscent of aircraft. The body resembles a fuselage standing on its tail. The wings are anhedral in shape, i.e., their sections are like an aircraft wing's section but they stand vertically. They are angled forward 3.5 degrees.
The Angel sits on 22m deep piles anchored to bedrock below. 150 tonnes of concrete was used for the foundations. The steel superstructure weighs 208 tonnes, each wing weighing nearly 55 tonnes. A ring of fifty two 3m bolts secures the Angel's feet to the foundations.
A special alloy of weathering steel was used to make the structure. The steel has copper content, which allows it to weather naturally and form a patina. Once formed, the patina stabilises the surface of the steel indefinitely.
Designer: Antony Gormley (b. 1950)
Resident engineer: Neil Carstairs
Main contractor: Hartlepool Steel Fabrications
Research: ND
"Making an Angel" by Iain Sinclair and Stephanie Brown
Booth-Clibborn Editions, 1998

The Angel of the North