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Double blow for youngest RIBA winner

One of the youngest architects to win an RIBA contest has not been paid for 18 months’ design work on a new footbridge which has now been shelved. 

Dane Tim Nørlund Jensen of Norlund Architects was just 23 when his design was chosen in January 2008 ahead of more than 100 other schemes for the pedestrian link over Sheffield’s busy Parkway dual carriageway.

However, project backer Yorkshire Forward (YF), working alongside Rotherham Council and Sheffield City Council, has effectively canned the winning proposal, blaming a spiraling budget for its decision.

In response, Nørlund said he couldn’t give a final cost estimate for the footbridge, designed with engineers Ramboll UK, as ‘no final location had been decided by the client’.

Furthermore, despite having worked on a ‘series of design amendments and changes requested by the client’, Nørlund claims he has not been paid. He told the AJ: ‘All I’ve been paid is the £7,000 competition honorarium – the same as what the other shortlisted teams got.’

Nørlund saw off a shortlist of five, which included London’s Satellite Architects with the Elliott Wood Partnership, DLG Architects and Arup Associates.

Explaining the decision, David Custance, assistant director of property and urban renaissance at YF, said: ‘The Parkway Bridge is currently undergoing a design review as a result of the increased costs for the original structure.

‘The current economic downturn and subsequent prioritising of investments have resulted in different options for the bridge being considered.’

He added: ‘We will continue to work alongside both councils to ensure a solution is found which meets the needs of residents and businesses alike.’

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