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'Next generation' T-Pylon gets green light

Bystrup’s competition winning pylon looks set to be installed as part of a new electricity connection in Somerset

The T-shaped pylons which have been hailed as ‘striking and elegant’ by secretary of state for energy and climate change, Edward Davey, will be used in the Hinckley Point connection which will run between Bridgewater and Avonmouth.

Davey added: ‘To see T-pylon becoming a reality just 20 months after winning the competition, is a fantastic achievement for National Grid and the Danish architects, Bystrup, and I’d like to congratulate them on their progress. One of the key objectives of the Pylon Design Competition was to see if innovations in design and technology could improve an 85 year old structure, and one that has divided popular opinion since its inauguration in the 1920s.

‘We face a significant challenge over the coming years connecting new electricity plants to our homes and businesses.  Now communities can be offered a new choice and a radical departure from the traditional lattice. A smaller pylon, one third shorter than its predecessor, with different finishes allowing it to blend into the landscape – T pylon is a striking and elegant design.’

The competition to decide the ‘next generation’ of pylons was won by Danish practice Bystrup in October 2011.

The Danes’ T-Pylon design was picked ahead of shortlisted schemes by fellow finalists Amanda Levete Architects, Gustafson Porter, Ian Ritchie Architects, New Town Studio and Knight Architects in the competition run by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), National Grid, and the RIBA.


Nick Winser, National Grid executive director commented: ‘The competition was held to find a design which would meet all our safety and reliability criteria and belong to the 21st century. The steel lattice pylon has served us well over the years and will continue to be part of the landscape but we’re looking forward to see people’s reaction to the new T pylon design’.

Construction began on a prototype for the pylons back in February.

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