Architecture

Shortlist for new Thames span announced

Shortlist for new Thames span ...
A shortlist of four designs has been chosen for the Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge that will cross the River Thames in London, UK
A shortlist of four designs has been chosen for the Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge that will cross the River Thames in London, UK
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A shortlist of four designs has been chosen for the Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge that will cross the River Thames in London, UK
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A shortlist of four designs has been chosen for the Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge that will cross the River Thames in London, UK
Initial design idea by Buro Happold Limited, with Marks Barfield Architects, J&L Gibbons Landscape Architects, Gardiner and Theobald
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Initial design idea by Buro Happold Limited, with Marks Barfield Architects, J&L Gibbons Landscape Architects, Gardiner and Theobald
Initial design by Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering, with Robin Snell & Partners, Sven Ole Hansen ApS, Aarsleff and ÅF Lighting
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Initial design by Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering, with Robin Snell & Partners, Sven Ole Hansen ApS, Aarsleff and ÅF Lighting
Initial design by Ove Arup & Partners Ltd, with AL_A, Gross Max, Equals Consulting and Movement Strategies
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Initial design by Ove Arup & Partners Ltd, with AL_A, Gross Max, Equals Consulting and Movement Strategies
Initial design idea from Ove Arup & Partners Ltd, with Hopkins Architects and Grant Associates
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Initial design idea from Ove Arup & Partners Ltd, with Hopkins Architects and Grant Associates
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The finalists have been announced in a competition to design a new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the River Thames in London. The contest, which Gizmag featured last month, received 74 entries ranging from the understated to the absurd. Those concepts have now been whittled down to a shortlist of four.

The bridge will link Nine Elms on one side of the river to Pimlico on the other. The competition was launched in December last year and today's shortlist announcement brings with it the disclosure of the teams behind the remaining designs. The initial submissions were anonymous in order to comply with EU competitive procurement rules.

Initial design idea by Buro Happold Limited, with Marks Barfield Architects, J&L Gibbons Landscape Architects, Gardiner and Theobald
Initial design idea by Buro Happold Limited, with Marks Barfield Architects, J&L Gibbons Landscape Architects, Gardiner and Theobald

The first of the shortlisted designs is headed by Buro Happold Limited, with Marks Barfield Architects, J&L Gibbons Landscape Architects, Gardiner and Theobald. Seen above, it features a tall slender suspension pillar at one end.

Initial design by Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering, with Robin Snell & Partners, Sven Ole Hansen ApS, Aarsleff and ÅF Lighting
Initial design by Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering, with Robin Snell & Partners, Sven Ole Hansen ApS, Aarsleff and ÅF Lighting

The second shortlisted design is by Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering, with Robin Snell & Partners, Sven Ole Hansen ApS, Aarsleff and ÅF Lighting. It is a slender and graceful design with helical ramps leading on to a faintly curved span.

Initial design by Ove Arup & Partners Ltd, with AL_A, Gross Max, Equals Consulting and Movement Strategies
Initial design by Ove Arup & Partners Ltd, with AL_A, Gross Max, Equals Consulting and Movement Strategies

The third and fourth shortlisted designs come from Ove Arup & Partners Ltd. A concept put together with AL_A, Gross Max, Equals Consulting and Movement Strategies features a suspension arch and S-curve ramps at either end for access.

Initial design idea from Ove Arup & Partners Ltd, with Hopkins Architects and Grant Associates
Initial design idea from Ove Arup & Partners Ltd, with Hopkins Architects and Grant Associates

Ove Arup's other design was put together with Hopkins Architects and Grant Associates. It too features curved ramps to provide access at either end, but uses pillars for structural support rather than an arch.

According to Wandsworth Council, the finalists were selected by a jury that included council leader Ravi Govindia, architect Graham Stirk, engineer Henry Bardsley and Design Council Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) chair Pam Alexander. Feedback from more than 1,000 members of the public was considered, as well as technical assessments for each proposal.

The shortlisted teams will now develop their concepts into more detailed designs before the winning entry is announced later this year. The project is already partly financed, but any new bridge would require planning permission before being built.

Sources: Wandsworth Council, NEP Bridge Competition

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6 comments
Freyr Gunnar
Why do they want to slow down commuters with loops at both ends?
Or maybe architects think people ride bikes just for fun?
"The Depressing Rise of Squiggletecture - and how to design a bicycle/ped bridge" http://www.copenhagenize.com/2015/03/the-depressing-rise-of-squiggletecture.html
Michael Taylor
I vote for the one with the two red towers. The bridge is not meant to be simply a connection from point A to point B. The design of the bridge is intended to create a landmark in the city that will attract people and be economically beneficial for the area and the country as a whole through tourism. This particular design lends itself to creating specific spaces on both ends of the bridge that would attract people to come and hang out and take photos and be a meeting point. So not simply a creation that gets you from point A to point B but creates an opportunity for a unique experience along the way. It will be interesting to see what the final selection is.
AngryPenguin
@Freyr Gunnar: I think the idea of the loops at both ends is so they can raise the bridge high enough for boats to pass underneath, without having a steep slope at both ends of the bridge.
tomtoys
Good job it's never rainy, windy nor cold when you're high over the Thames with no protection.
lwesson
What passes as ART per Modern Art, the same goes, so it would seem, for Architecture. London is being littered with this garbage, that will not be, "Timeless or long Enduring" and says NOTHING about being British!
The banal Euro coin & paper currency art come to mind, saying ZERO about being European, but then, I guess that is the hidden point, to deflate England, Europe into a grey shapeless bag... Bravo Finest Hour England!
Henreid
Evidently, the judges who picked these designs rarely -- if ever -- commute by walking or cycling. I guess they figured that all the Londoners who used this bridge would be out for a leisurely stroll or bike ride, rather than wanting to cross the Thames in an efficient way. Since most of the city dwellers I'm familiar with aren't interested in wasting their own time and energy by going needlessly out of their way, it strikes me odd that all but one of the designs on this short list forces them to do just that. I only hope that common sense prevails with the selection of the most straightforward path.