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Stars among 80 firms vying for new Nine Elms bridge

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A total of 80 design teams have qualified to participate in the design contest for a new Thames crossing at Nine Elms in south London

The entries – hailing from 16 different countries – have each met the ‘skills and capacity’ criteria required to compete for the £40 million pedestrian and cyclist crossing.

The effective longlist for the job includes a mix of ‘world renowned architects’ and ‘up-and-coming practices’ – according to the competition organisers.

Under EU procurement rules the teams however cannot be named at this stage.

Each participating team will submit its initial design idea for an anonymous public exhibition in the coming weeks.

The competition jury – featuring Graham Stirk of RSHP and Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia – will shortlist four submissions in March.

Govindia said: ‘A bridge specifically designed to carry high volumes of both cyclists and pedestrians will be a first for central London and poses a complex set of architectural, engineering and transport challenges.

This bridge will be a thing of beauty worthy of a world city

‘The design also has to win hearts and minds so form is just as important as function. This bridge will be a valuable additional to our transport network as well as a thing of beauty that is worthy of its location at the centre of a world city.’

He continued: ‘This is an extremely challenging brief and the competition gives us the best possible chance of finding the answers. We now have scores of exceptionally talented design teams focusing their creative energies on the project. They come from very diverse backgrounds and will approach the brief with very different mind-sets and specialisms.

‘The identity of the team behind each design will remain a closely guarded secret up until we name a shortlist to go through to the next stage. This ensures the design itself remains the centre of the debate and that new talent can compete on a level playing field with industry leaders.’

The new pedestrian and cycle bridge will connect the 200 hectare former Nine Elms industrial area – which is undergoing massive regeneration – with the historic Pimlico embankment to the north.

The structure is expected to meet the south bank of the River Thames close to Kieran Timberlake’s £650 million US Embassy which is due to complete in 2017.

The project follows a Transport for London feasibility study which estimated the bridge would cost £40 million and could handle around 9,000 walkers and 9,000 cyclists a day.

A winner will be announced in June.

  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • Unfortunately, the visual above shows that the new Nine Elms, courtesy of Wandsworth Council, the GLA and CABE is not going to be a place you would want to take a footbridge to. Other than the new US Embassy - which does have something about it – the new Nine Elms is a desultory and ugly mess, devoid of any organising idea or concept. Much to the discredit of all involved.

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  • Unfortunately, the visual above shows that the new Nine Elms, courtesy of Wandsworth Council, the GLA and CABE is not going to be a place you would want to take a footbridge to. Other than the new US Embassy - which does have something about it – the new Nine Elms is a desultory and ugly mess, devoid of any organising idea or concept. Much to the discredit of all involved.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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