Designed by local artist, Steve Newby, the work called 'Halo' is a stunning gravity-defying spectacle stretching 27 -foot in the form of a loop, which by night is illuminated by colour changing fibre-optic lights.
The sculpture is a fitting link to the Town's steel heritage and symbol of its post-industrial renewal, as Gateshead celebrates what is believed to be the UK's biggest mixed-use town centre regeneration project outside London in recent years.
Hailed as the world's largest structure made from inflated stainless steel, Halo is constructed entirely using the award-winning artist's own unique method. Stainless steel is shaped by inflating and blowing, creating curves in reflective surfaces, which then appear kinetic and fluid. It is made up of around 330 individual inflated sections, linked together to form a spectacular 27-foot ring of billowing curves.
The iconic structure is tilted on a 66 degrees angle, magnificently soaring outward and overhead and promising an inspiring and unique experience to visitors of Gateshead.
Artist and sculptor, Steve Newby said: "I am absolutely delighted to see my concept become a reality. It has been some years in planning, engineering and design. Technologically it's moving the boundaries of this technique and its prominent gravity-defying character will, I hope, really add exhilaration to the overall development."
The Halo project was commissioned by Trinity Square developers Spenhill in 2008 with a brief to create "a strong, iconic artwork that would integrate into the architecture of Trinity Square right in the heart of the town." Newby's idea for 'Halo', marking the region's steel industry past with the circular ring as a 'symbol of regeneration', was picked from six potential proposals.
Local talent has been central to the entire creation of the large-scale project. Halo was constructed by a team of highly skilled engineers at the Ryton-based Impress Group, turning Newby's pioneering idea into reality. Newcastle University carried out a programme of physical testing and simulations using architecture software, while the patent for the technology to make its individual sections was also developed in Gateshead.
Newby added: "It was really important to me that the construction took place here in Gateshead - it already feels like it is being born here and belongs here. This entire project is down to the work of skilled Gateshead craftsmen and it has set new standards in this particular field of engineering, which is a testament to the wonders we can do in this area."
For more information on the artist: Stephen Newby