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Infrastructure spending signals optimism, says winner of Helsinki bridge comp

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Knight Architects founder Martin Knight has hailed the resurgent infrastructure design market in Europe as a positive sign for the whole industry

The Buckinghamshire-based bridge specialist was last week named on a six-strong shortlist for a footbridge in Hamburg.

It followed the practice’s recent success in the competition to design the 3km Kruunusillat bridge in Helsinki.

Knight told AJ that bridges were rarely an ends to themselves, and usually signalled further development in an area.

‘The infrastructure design market in Europe has stabilised over the last two to three years,’ he said.

‘We are getting more work in Europe. It is possible these infrastructure projects may be a sign that confidence is growing. If you spend money on infrastructure then you have a longer-term agenda – this could project a degree of optimism.’

Spanning 60m across the Baakenhafen, the Kruunusillat is required to provide a crossing for residents of the new urban quarter in HafenCiuty.

Knight Architects was shortlisted for this scheme in partnership with Leonhardt Andrä und Partner.

The other five teams are:

  • Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes, Vienna, with WTM Engineers, Hamburg
  • gmp, Hamburg, with Knippers Helbig, Stuttgart
  • ingenhoven Architects, Düsseldorf, with Werner Sobek, Stuttgart
  • BRT Architekten, Hamburg, with Ingenieurburo Dr Binnewies, Hamburg
  • Winking · Froh Architekten, Hamburg, with Schlaich, Bergmann und Partner, Stuttgart

A winner will be announced in August.

Meanwhile Knight Architects – in partnership with a local firm – defeated finalists Amanda Levete and Ben van Berkel in an open contest to design the Crown Bridges scheme in Helsinki.

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