Architecture

Outlandish concepts submitted for London bridge competition

Outlandish concepts submitted ...
Design submissions for a new bridge in London linking Nine Elms and Pimlico have been revealed (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
Design submissions for a new bridge in London linking Nine Elms and Pimlico have been revealed (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
View 75 Images
Design submissions for a new bridge in London linking Nine Elms and Pimlico have been revealed (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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Design submissions for a new bridge in London linking Nine Elms and Pimlico have been revealed (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
Access to this bridge would be via spiral slopes (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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Access to this bridge would be via spiral slopes (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
An undulating design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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An undulating design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A design with a thick base and overhangs beyond the river (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A design with a thick base and overhangs beyond the river (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A lengthy curved design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A lengthy curved design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
An arched bridge incorporating green space at either end (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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An arched bridge incorporating green space at either end (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A bridge with space to stop and sit (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A bridge with space to stop and sit (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A graceful take on a suspension bridge (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A graceful take on a suspension bridge (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A bridge incorporating a waterfall (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A bridge incorporating a waterfall (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A design with a lattice cover that runs across the central thoroughfare (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A design with a lattice cover that runs across the central thoroughfare (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
An intertwined design with separate cycle and footpaths (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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An intertwined design with separate cycle and footpaths (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
Two large arches mark this design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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Two large arches mark this design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A simple and low profile design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A simple and low profile design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A bridge with a variety of internal levels (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A bridge with a variety of internal levels (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A design that incorporates space for sitting and relaxing (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A design that incorporates space for sitting and relaxing (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A design that takes a route through the trees (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A design that takes a route through the trees (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A slender suspension bridge (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A slender suspension bridge (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A design with long smooth curves (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A design with long smooth curves (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A striking but understated design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A striking but understated design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A design marked by a single tall pillar at one end (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A design marked by a single tall pillar at one end (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
Multiple levels and greenery built into a concept (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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Multiple levels and greenery built into a concept (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A wide bridge with space for different activities (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A wide bridge with space for different activities (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A walkway using attractive railings along the side of the bridge (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A walkway using attractive railings along the side of the bridge (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
Elegant spirals and columns mark this design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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Elegant spirals and columns mark this design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A design that appears to have traveled back in time (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A design that appears to have traveled back in time (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A solid-looking and curvaceous concept (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A solid-looking and curvaceous concept (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A grid-like take on a suspension bridge (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A grid-like take on a suspension bridge (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
An arching span across the river (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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An arching span across the river (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A bridge that sets its users down among greenery (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A bridge that sets its users down among greenery (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A high-arched bridge with separate cycle and footpaths (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A high-arched bridge with separate cycle and footpaths (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A bridge with two spans and see-through fencing (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A bridge with two spans and see-through fencing (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A design that employs four sturdy columns (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A design that employs four sturdy columns (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
Another design that uses a single large column at one end for support (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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Another design that uses a single large column at one end for support (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A design with landscaping and places to sit (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A design with landscaping and places to sit (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A bridge with raised walkways and cycle paths through its center (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A bridge with raised walkways and cycle paths through its center (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A design that curves up alongside one bank of the river before crossing the Thames (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A design that curves up alongside one bank of the river before crossing the Thames (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
This design takes the form of an elongated "S" shape (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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This design takes the form of an elongated "S" shape (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A minimalist bridge design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A minimalist bridge design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A design based on block shapes (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A design based on block shapes (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
Circular paths provide access to this bridge (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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Circular paths provide access to this bridge (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A span that has the appearance of resting on two floating platforms (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A span that has the appearance of resting on two floating platforms (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A swooping bridge that is taller on one side than the other (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A swooping bridge that is taller on one side than the other (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A design with elongated entry paths to provide low profile access slopes (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A design with elongated entry paths to provide low profile access slopes (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
Another design that uses circular rising access paths (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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Another design that uses circular rising access paths (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A bridge with raised edges (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A bridge with raised edges (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A gently curving design across the river (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A gently curving design across the river (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A bridge supported by two tall columns (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A bridge supported by two tall columns (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A suspension bridge with spiral access paths (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A suspension bridge with spiral access paths (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
Curved, weaving ends provide access to this bridge (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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Curved, weaving ends provide access to this bridge (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A bridge with colorful pillars (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A bridge with colorful pillars (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
This design is marked by the use of unusual angles (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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This design is marked by the use of unusual angles (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A design that gives the impression of having been stretched in opposing directions (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A design that gives the impression of having been stretched in opposing directions (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A design that incorporates fountains (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A design that incorporates fountains (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
This bridge would feature a dramatic abstract squiggly design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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This bridge would feature a dramatic abstract squiggly design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A simple and understated span (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A simple and understated span (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A wide bridge that incorporates a helix (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A wide bridge that incorporates a helix (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A straight span with gradually curving sides (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A straight span with gradually curving sides (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A contemporary white design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A contemporary white design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A bridge with "V" shaped supports (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A bridge with "V" shaped supports (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
An abstract and tangled design with colorful lighting (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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An abstract and tangled design with colorful lighting (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A bridge with two different levels (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A bridge with two different levels (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A huge arch support the bridge's span (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A huge arch support the bridge's span (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A curving and intertwined design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A curving and intertwined design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
Two archways at one end support this structure (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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Two archways at one end support this structure (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A simple, arch-supported span with places to sit (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A simple, arch-supported span with places to sit (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A curved structure with fencing (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A curved structure with fencing (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
This bridge has an illuminated smooth rising curve (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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This bridge has an illuminated smooth rising curve (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
Leaning columns support the wavy span of this structure (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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Leaning columns support the wavy span of this structure (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A bridge with a column and bow-shaped access path at each end (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A bridge with a column and bow-shaped access path at each end (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A simple straight span across the river (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A simple straight span across the river (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A wavy bridge with an unusual pattern of suspension cables (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A wavy bridge with an unusual pattern of suspension cables (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
This bridge tilts to one side toward its middle (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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This bridge tilts to one side toward its middle (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A bridge with unusual colorful decoration (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A bridge with unusual colorful decoration (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A design with escalator access (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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A design with escalator access (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
This design has a variety of routes and entry points (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
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This design has a variety of routes and entry points (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
View gallery - 75 images

There has been plenty of opposition to London's proposed Garden Bridge based on its design, location and management. Now, however, a new bridge further up the Thames has grabbed people's attention. Designs for the proposed Nine Elms to Pimlico bridge range from the understated to the absurd.

The competition seeking designs for the Nine Elms to Pimlico bridge was launched in early December last year as part of a regeneration plan for the Nine Elms area. Around £26 million (US$40 million) has already been committed to the project as part of the regeneration scheme, with plans for the chosen design to be used as a means of attracting additional funding. The total cost is expected to be around £40 million ($62 million).

"The design must work alongside the cutting edge architecture emerging on the south bank as well as the elegant frontages on the north," says leader of Wandsworth Council and co-chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership Ravi Govindia. "The landing points on both sides must integrate sensitively with their surroundings and provide a smooth and safe experience for the pedestrian and cyclists who use it."

The submitted designs are being exhibited publicly in London this week. They have also been made available to view on the competition website. The designs are displayed anonymously in line with EU competitive procurement rules with public feedback being sought. Below are some those that caught Gizmag's eye.

A bridge with space to stop and sit (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A bridge with space to stop and sit (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)

Although this design is perhaps not the most pleasing to the eye, it's by no means ugly. It also appears to be designed around a large space for sitting or hosting events, rather than adding such a space as an afterthought. This has the potential to make the bridge a cultural and community destination for the Nine Elms and Pimlico areas, instead of just a travel through route.

A striking but understated design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
A striking but understated design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)

Of all the design submissions, this is the one that perhaps most looks like it's meant to be there. It's understated and simple, perhaps too much so, but the gentle curves make for a pleasing design, while getting people from A to B with minimal fuss.

Multiple levels and greenery built into a concept (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
Multiple levels and greenery built into a concept (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)

Whisper it quietly, but the tree-lined pathways of this design call to mind the controversial Garden Bridge. Nevertheless, we like the raised planted outcrops and the continuous pathways that either reach down to provide access to the bridge or rise up to provide users with views of the surrounding area.

This bridge would feature a dramatic abstract squiggly design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)
This bridge would feature a dramatic abstract squiggly design (Image: NEP Bridge Competition)

Despite having the playful aspects of a child's drawing, something about this concept keeps drawing us back and taking it more seriously each time. Although it may be abstract, and even a bit bonkers, it's actually rather fun.

In March, a jury including architect Graham Stirk, engineer Henry Bardsley and Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) chair Pam Alexander will shortlist up to four designs to take forward to the next stage. The winning design is expected to be revealed later this year, with eventual planning approval from Wandsworth and Westminster Councils and sign off from the Mayor of London being required before anything is built.

You can view the bridge design submissions in our gallery.

Sources: Nine Elms, NEP Bridge Competition

View gallery - 75 images
2 comments
Jeffrey A. Edwards
'Portlandia' Oregon has the Tillikum Bridge that is a light-rail and pedestrian/bicyclist-ONLY bridge. If the 'enviro-nutz' can approve of a bridge in Portland then maybe the plan could pass approval as a new London Bridge? The bridge had 'Welcome' lighting for the recent visitation of Prince William and Duchess Kate. http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/12/a_new_portland_bridge_and_its.html#incart_related_stories
owlbeyou
That's quite a few over-the-top and questionable designs. Londoners better be careful. Their city is becoming a modern amusement park.