Free Exhibition & Activities for Adults & Children at The Architecture Centre this Autumn


This Autumn at the Architecture Centre in Bristol, there is a free exhibition with free activities for both children and adults to enjoy.

This year is the 150th anniversary of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which opened on 8 December 1864. To celebrate this important event in Bristol’s history, The Architecture Centre is running a free exhibition for children and adults entitled ‘Desire Lines: Romance and Rationalism in Bridge Design’.


Inspired and introduced by the story of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s world famous bridge and featuring five key contemporary case studies, the exhibition focuses on the stories behind design and construction in order to encourage a new way of looking at bridges.

The exhibition uses Bristol’s most famous landmark to look at the art and science and invites visitors to discover:

  • Where and why do we build bridges?
  • Who designs them and what types exist?
  • And when and how are they built?

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Included in the exhibition is a film of specially commissioned interviews with key engineers and architects who expound on the special nature of bridge design and which bridges, old and new, have inspired them.

We also get an insight into how each engineer and architect have followed their own ‘desire lines’ into their profession and what makes them tick. The exhibition also invites both adults and children to get hands-on with three build-your-own bridge kits designed and produced by Bristol-based model makers Amalgam, that demonstrate how the components of arch, truss and cable structures can be assembled to produce six different bridge designs.


There is a Family Activity Area which will give both children and grown-ups the opportunity to design their own bridge in a Top Bridge Trump style – strong and sturdy or fantastically beautiful – for entry into a competition to find the city’s most imaginative bridge idea.

There is also a special family event on Friday 31st October with free family storytelling and creative bridge building activities at the Architecture Centre’s gallery from 10.30 – 11.30am – please check out the Bristol Mum Events Calendar.

If you would like to take your kids to enjoy any of the above activities, you can find The Architecture Centre on Bristol Harbourside, (in between Arnolfini and the Youth Hostel), Narrow Quay, BS1 4QA.

Opening times are: Wed – Fri: 11am – 5pm, Sat & Sun: 12 – 5pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays).

Desire Lines will be running at The Architecture Centre, Bristol until 16th November 2014.