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Construction of Bystrup’s next-generation pylons set to start

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National Grid is to construct a test-run of the next-generation T-Pylons for use across the British countryside over the coming months, it has announced.

Danish-based architecture, design and engineering practice Bystrup last year won a RIBA design competition for the structures, run in conjunction with the Department of Energy and Climate Change and National Grid (see AJ 29.07.13).

Its 35metre tall monopole design was selected from 250 entries, including submissions from Amanda Levete Architects, Gustafson Porter, Ian Ritchie Architects, New Town Studio and Knight Architects.

A prototype of the pylon was built and tested in Denmark, but National Grid said it would now build a working span of six pylons at its Eakring Academy in Nottinghamshire.

Director of electricity transmission asset management David Wright said the test line would allow for the development of construction techniques and involve variants of the basic design.

‘It will also allow people to see the new design set in the countryside for the first time which should be an exciting and historic moment,’ he said.

‘The T-Pylon is not set to replace the familiar steel lattice pylon but it is an alternative option we can offer communities when we are building new transmission routes.’

Piling for the foundations of the first new pylons is now complete.


Previous story (AJ 29.07.13)

‘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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