By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Three finalists in overhead lines contest revealed

Moxon, Bystrup and COBE’s designs for new overhead line structures for the High Speed 2 (HS2) route have made it through to the next stage of the RIBA-run competition

Schemes by Danish practices Bystrup and COBE, and a concept by London-based Moxon, were chosen from ten proposals shortlisted in the international contest.

Bystrup Architecture, Design and Engineering

Bystrup's shortlisted design in the RIBA-run rail gantry contest

‘The High Speed T Mast reduces the overhead rail line to two elements; a triangular cable network carrying the power, and the aesthetic T-shaped mast which supports twin systems serving adjacent tracks.

‘High speed twin rail lines require less land with a single line of T masts between tracks, than with traditional masts either side. There are therefore no masts forming an obtrusive barrier between the track edge and its surroundings.’

COBE

COBE's shortlisted design in the RIBA-run rail gantry contest

‘Tomahawk is a family of overhead line structures that minimizes the visual impact of the entire line. This is achieved by reducing the overall height, reducing the number of structural elements and by using contemporary materials and manufacturing techniques.

‘By Keeping It Simple and Straightforward (KISS), the end product is buildable and well suited for its purpose. The simple design will also work visually when repeated hundreds of times throughout the landscape.’

Moxon Architects with Mott MacDonald

Moxon Architect's shortlisted design in the RIBA-run rail gantry contest

‘The form of these masts is simple - slender and tapering, the design reduces the visual impact in the landscape.  The Integrated OLS scheme simplifies the components of the power line support equipment, replacing insulating pots with built-in insulating properties through the use of a densified laminated wood.’

The brief called for ‘new, aesthetically pleasing designs for the gantry and cantilever structures on the UK rail network which could play a part in the way Britain’s railway implement future electrification schemes’.

The three finalists will now receive £150,000 to draw up detailed designs for the schemes.

David Clarke, director of FutureRailway said:  ‘It has been a fascinating and enjoyable process and it was very clear to the panel that every shortlisted team had put a huge amount of hard work and dedication into their designs. We have selected three worthy finalists and I look forward to seeing each design developed further during the coming months.’

Mark Howard, head of power and traction at HS2 added: ‘I am very impressed by the high standard of the designs in this competition. All those shortlisted have really understood the technical practicalities whilst coming up with eye-catching structures. HS2 will be innovative and reflect the very best in 21st century design. I look forward to developing these ideas further and perhaps one day seeing them alongside the UK’s much needed high speed rail network.’

All the shortlisted designs are on display at the National Railway Museum in York until 12 May.

Previous story (AJ 01.04.14)

Revealed: 10 shortlisted designs for HS2’s overhead line structures

The AJ can reveal images of the shortlisted proposals in the RIBA-run competition for new overhead line structures for the High Speed 2 (HS2) route

Concepts by Moxon, Grimshaw, Gorton Paul Scheuvens, IDOM with Alan Baxter & Associates, PWA Architects, Ramboll, Lariko/Urbanski and Danish practices COBE and Bystrup – which has two designs in the final 10 – were chosen ahead of more than 60 schemes at the beginning of March. 

The international competition called for ‘new, aesthetically pleasing designs for the gantry and cantilever structures on the UK rail network which could play a part in the way Britain’s railway implement future electrification schemes’.

The shortlisted teams will each receive £15,000 to further develop designs ahead of interviews with the competition jury on 6 and 7 May. Following the interviews, four teams will be selected to take the designs forward. 

The full shortlist:

  • Bystrup Architecture, Design and Engineering, Denmark (with two designs shortlisted)
  • COBE, Denmark
  • Grimshaw
  • Gorton, Paul, Scheuvens + ARUP
  • IDOM UK Ltd with Alan Baxter & Associates and SEMI
  • Lariko/Urbanski
  • Moxon Architects with Mott Macdonald
  • PWA
  • Ramboll UK

The winning scheme will be judged by Martin Knight of Knight Architects, architecture critic Jonathan Glancey, director of EIT David Clarke, HS2’s Mark Howard, Davies Maguire + Whitby structural engineer Mark Whitby, The Rail Engineer magazine’s Graeme Taylor and Paul Weston from the National Railway Museum. 

The designs are currently on display at the National Railway Museum in York.

Previous story (AJ 11.3.14)

Moxon and Grimshaw shortlisted in RIBA rail structures contest

Moxon, Grimshaw and Denmark’s Bystrup are among ten teams shortlisted in a competition for ‘aesthetically pleasing’ gantry structures on Britain’s railways

The finalist designs in the RIBA-run ideas contest will be revealed during an exhibition at the National Railway Museum in York opening on 1 April.

In 2011 finalist Bystrup - a Copenhagen-based practice - won the competition to design the UK’s new generation of electricity pylons, with the first of the T-shaped structures expected to be installed in Somerset.

The full shortlist:

  • Bystrup Architecture, Design and Engineering, Denmark (with two designs shortlisted)
  • COBE, Denmark
  • Grimshaw
  • Gorton, Paul, Scheuvens + ARUP
  • IDOM UK Ltd with Alan Baxter & Associates and SEMI
  • Lariko/Urbanski
  • Moxon Architects with Mott Macdonald
  • PWA
  • Ramboll UK

Each shortlisted team will receive £15,000 to further develop designs ahead of interviews with the competition jury on 6 and 7 May.

The contest – backed by rail industry body FutureRailway in conjunction with HS2 – received 62 entries from 14 different countries.

The four winning designs will be announced at an event in the National Railway Museum on 7 May.

Each winning team will receive £150,000 to develop the designs further by undertaking detailed technical and mathematical modelling and considering the route to market.

The competition invited architects, engineers and designers to consider improvements to overhead structures on the UK rail network, focussing on segments of the proposed HS2 line which impact on ‘natural beauty, conservation areas or residential areas’.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

The searchable digital buildings archive with drawings from more than 1,500 projects

AJ newsletters