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RIBA opens £77m Ipswich bridges contest

Ipswich shutterstock 16742278
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The RIBA’s competitions unit has launched a design competition for a pair of waterfront bridges in Ipswich, Suffolk

Planned to start on site in 2020, the Orwell Crossings Project will create two new road crossings at Ipswich Docks (pictured) and refurbish an existing swing bridge serving the town’s wet dock and marina.

Backed by Suffolk County Council, the ambitious project aims to ease road congestion in the city and improve journey times for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.

The infrastructure upgrade – which featured in former chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne’s 2016 budget – is also expected to create a new focal point for regeneration in Ipswich’s waterfront area by opening up the island between the wet dock and river for development.

Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council’s member with special responsibility for working with outside bodies, commented: ‘We want to open up the design competition to find the most suitable architectural expert team to work with Suffolk County Council in the crucial design of this major project for the county town of Suffolk.

‘We are getting some really positive feedback through our current consultation on this project, and we look forward to working with the winning architectural team to realise a design that fits with Ipswich ambitions and continued success in the future.’

Architects with experience of delivering high-quality bridge structures and major infrastructure projects while working within a multidisciplinary team are encouraged to apply.

Up to five shortlisted teams will receive £10,000 (plus VAT) each to develop compliant tenders for the competition phase and to participate in a clarification interview.

The winning team will work alongside structural and civil engineer WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff to develop the project up to RIBA Stage 3.

Early contractor involvement is planned to assist the development of designs with the architect expected to be novated to the contractor as part of a Design and Build contract in the later stages.

Ipswich Dock has been a centre of maritime trade since the 8th century. The wet dock, located on a bend in the River Orwell, was built in 1842 and now features a marina. Nearby landmarks include John Lyall Architects’ The Mill completed in 2009, which is the tallest tower in the region.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 1 September.

How to apply

Visit the RIBA Competitions website for more information


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