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Knight scoops Helsinki bridge job

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Knight Architects has beaten finalists Amanda Levete and Ben van Berkel in an open contest to design a 3km-long bridge in Helsinki

The practice was part of an Anglo-Finnish team which saw off ten rival bids to win the City of Helsinki-backed job.

Shortlisted teams in the Europe-wide contest – which launched two years ago and received more than more than 50 entries –included Amanda Levete, Ben van Berkel of UNStudio and iconic Spanish bridge designer Javier Manterola.

The €86 million Crown Bridges scheme – known locally as the Kruunusillat – connects the Finnish capital’s new Kruunuvuorenranta district to the city centre.

The structure – though to be the longest bridge in the country – will be used by trams, cyclists and pedestrians only.

Knight’s winning design – dubbed ‘Gemma Regalis’ – featured symmetrical cable-stayed bridge with a 135 metre-tall diamond-shaped pylon.

The jury praised the scheme’s ‘openness of the underside of the bridge, which diminishes its intrusive effects on the landscape.’

Commenting on the winner, the jury said: ‘The bridge’s alignment curves beautifully and with the semblance of grace over the open part of the sea bay. The cable-stayed construction has achieved an extremely light and spacious bridge. The columns under the bridge, as well as the high pylon, have been shaped with care. They are slim and stylish, and the pylon’s open centre lightens its appearance still further.’

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