An engineering design competition for designing a pedestrian and cycle bridge across the Thames River in London, connecting Nine Elms on the South Bank with the Pimlico embankment, has reached its final round and four finalists have been shortlisted. The contest received 74 entries, out of which only four stood the rigour of Wandsworth Council, the official authority for the London Borough of Wandsworth in Greater London, England.
“This bridge is also a badly needed and valuable piece of infrastructure for London. It has a very strong transport case, will support the city’s growth and has significant funding commitments already in place. Developing an inspiring, beautiful design will allow us to take the project to the next stage and ensure this project comes off the page into reality in a much shorter timeframe”, says Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council and co-chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership.
Launched in December, 2014, the inital submissions were anonymous in compliance with EU competitive procurement rules. With the shortlisting, names of competitors have now been disclosed.
The first design is by Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering, with Robin Snell & Partners, Sven Ole Hansen ApS, Aarsleff and ÅF Lighting. It features helical ramps leading on to a faintly curved span.
The second design is headed by Buro Happold Limited, with Marks Barfield Architects, J&L Gibbons Landscape Architects, Gardiner and Theobald. It features a tall slender suspension pillar at one end.
The third shortlisted design has been submitted by Ove Arup & Partners Ltd. The company has made its name into half of the shortlisted designs, backing the fourth shortlisted design slot as well. One, in collaboration with AL_A, Gross Max, Equals Consulting and Movement Strategies; this design features a suspension arch and S-curve access ramps at both ends.
The other design put together by the same firm, jointly with Hopkins Architects and Grant Associates, features pillars for structural support with curved ramps to provide access at either end.
The finalists were selected by a jury, including council leader Ravi Govindia, architect Graham Stirk, engineer Henry Bardsley and Design Council Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) chair Pam Alexander. Technical assessments for each proposal were carried out, along with collection of feedback from more than 1,000 members of the general public.
The shortlisted teams are now required to develop their concepts into detailed designs, following which a winning entry will be announced later this year. The project is currently partly financed, but requires planning permission before it is built.