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Windy Nook - Richard Cole

Windy Nook - Richard Cole

Completed in 1986, Richard Cole's Windy Nook, 160 metres high and covering 5,500 square metres, is still one of Europe's largest environmental sculptures.  

The work transformed a former colliery slag heap into an ambitious piece of land art and a much-used facility for the Gateshead community.  

Enjoyed as a walking and recreation site, visible as a dramatic landmark, and noted for its excellent views - across the Tyne, coast and Cheviot Hills - Windy Nook also provides a habitat for birds and wild flowers and an exciting play area for the locality.  

The terraced design consists of concentric semicircular stone walls and turfed earthworks descending the hillside and incorporating 2,500 tons of granite recycled from pillars supporting the old Scotswood Bridge.  

Richard Cole aimed to achieve a scale in keeping with the elevated hill site and create an organic structure sympathetic to the surroundings. On maturing, the work has integrated naturally with the landscape - so much so that even local people feel it has always been there, and it is often assumed to be an ancient hill-fort rather than a contemporary artwork. 

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