Dozens of rival designs for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the Thames have been unveiled today as part of an international design competition run by Wandsworth Council. The bridge would span the river between Nine Elms and Pimlico, plugging the wide gap between the Vauxhall and Chelsea bridges.
A total of 74 professional teams from across the globe have entered the contest including some of the biggest names in the architecture and engineering industries as well as some of the most exciting up and coming talents. At this stage of the EU regulated competition the designs are being displayed on an anonymous basis. This ensures new talent can compete on a level playing field with established practices.
The first stage design ideas are being published online and showcased to communities in Nine Elms and Pimlico at local exhibitions (details below).
Wandsworth Council is asking Londoners to have their say and comments will be fed into the competition’s jury panel which includes Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia, Lambeth councillor Joanne Simpson, architect Graham Stirk, engineer Henry Bardsley and CABE chair Pam Alexander. Each design proposal is now undergoing a detailed technical assessment. In March 2015 the jury panel will recommend a shortlist of up to four teams to go through to the next competitive stage and to develop more detailed plans.
Leader of Wandsworth Council and jury panel member, Cllr Ravi Govindia, said: “We challenged the world’s designers to come up with creative solutions to a very complex set of design, engineering and transport challenges. The response is testament to the exceptional talent out there. We have now begun to analyse each proposal in detail and I encourage Londoners to explore these ideas for themselves and to tell us what they think.
“To succeed this bridge must be two things at once. It must be a beautiful piece of architecture and a valuable new transport link. This is what our growing city needs and thanks to this competition we now have more than 70 different approaches to consider.”
A TfL transport study confirms the Nine Elms to Pimlico bridge has a strong business case and would provide another valuable route through central London to support the shift towards zero emission, sustainable travel options.
A £26million contribution is already identified from the development of Nine Elms and the new design would be used to lever-in further funding. The scheme has the support of the Mayor of London.
The bridge is part of the infrastructure package needed to support growth in Nine Elms and Vauxhall where tens of thousand of new jobs and homes are now being created alongside billions in growth and tax receipts.
The competition is being run by Colander and follows OJEU public sector procurement processes so the successful design team can be appointed to the project. Once the winning design is selected, it would need to go through the planning process before work could begin.