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Design contest announced for £40m Nine Elms bridge

Wandsworth Council has promised an international design contest for a new Thames crossing at Nine Elms in south London

The new pedestrian and cycle bridge will connect the 200 hectare former industrial area which is undergoing massive regeneration with the historic Pimlico embankment to the north.

The exact location has yet to be revealed but the structure is expected to meet the south bank of the River Thames close to Kieran Timberlake’s £650 million US Embassy which is due to complete in 2017.

Wandsworth Council agreed to pursue the competition last night (8 July) and an official contest launch is expected this winter.

The project follows a Transport for London feasibility study which estimated the bridge would cost £40 million and could handle around 9,000 walkers and 9,000 cyclists a day.

The competition’s first stage will solicit expressions of interest and require concept proposals. Four entries will proceed to the second stage where initial concepts will be developed in more detail to consider costs, engineering and public realm. 

A shortlist will be announced early next year with a winner due to be announced next spring. The council may explore further funding options, such as sponsorship, which could see the bridge built sooner once a design is in place.

Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia said: ‘This will be a new bridge at the centre of the world’s greatest city so the design standard has to be exceptional.  It will be a dream commission for the winning architect but to succeed they will have to meet some very unique challenges and expectations.’

He continued: ‘The design will have to inspire and win the hearts of Londoners who are tremendously proud of their river and its heritage. It must work alongside the cutting edge modern architecture of Nine Elms as well as the elegant buildings on the north bank.  There will be engineering feats to overcome and the landing points on both sides must integrate sensitively and effectively with their surroundings.

‘This bridge has the potential to become a powerful icon for the revival of Nine Elms which will help us bring new life, jobs and homes to this underused part of London. It would also help connect communities north of the river with these new opportunities and create a valuable transport link for our growing city.’

Readers' comments (1)

  • I thought bridges over the Thames cost 175 million, not 40, at least according to Heatherwick. Will it be something like the current bridge at Avignon ?

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