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Shortlist revealed in Nine Elms bridge contest


Hopkins, AL_A, Marks Barfield, and Bystrup with Robin Snell & Partners have been shortlisted in the competition to design a new £40 million Thames crossing at Nine Elms in south London

The four teams saw off competition from 74 anonymous entries which included a mix of ‘world renowned architects’ and ‘up-and-coming practices’.

The teams in full

  • Amanda Levete’s practice AL_A with Ove Arup and Partners, Gross Max, Equals Consulting and Movement Strategies
  • Marks Barfield Architects with Buro Happold, J&L Gibbons Landscape Architects, and Gardiner and Theobald
  • Hopkins Architects with Ove Arup and Partners and Grant Associates
  • Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering with Robin Snell & Partnerswith Sven Ole Hansen ApS, Aarsleff and ÅF Lighting

The new pedestrian and cycle bridge, which competition organisers Colander said should be ‘inspiring and innovative’, will link Pimlico embankment on the north side of the river with Nine Elms to the south.

The bridge forms part of £1billion of infrastructure improvements in the huge regeneration area, which includes an extension to the Northern Line with two new underground stations designed by Grimshaw (AJ 12.11.14).

According to Transport for London (TfL), the extension will kick-start regeneration in the Nine Elms area, where Kieran Timberlake is currently overseeing the construction of the new US Embassy, and ‘provide major transport benefits’.

Around £26 million is already committed to the project through the development of Nine Elms and the winning design would be used to attract additional funding or sponsorship.

Doubt was cast over the high-profile bridge contest just hours after the initial entries were revealed when Westminster councillors said they were against plans for the crossing (AJ 25.02.15)

Westminster councillors fear any new structure would have an unwelcome ‘visual and environmental impact’ and could lead to issues with ‘traffic flows and pedestrian movement’ in and around Pimlico. 

The finalists, whose designs will have to overcome these concerns, were selected by the competition jury which included Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia, Lambeth councillor Joanne Simpson, architect Graham Stirk, engineer Henry Bardsley and Cabe chair Pam Alexander.

Govindia, commented: ‘The quality of the submissions went beyond our best expectations and the interest this competition has generated across London has been tremendous.

‘Congratulations to our shortlisted teams and I look forward to seeing their initial ideas developed further. The devil will be in the detail and the next stage will show us whether these four highly skilled and innovative design teams can meet the complex challenges this project presents.’

The four teams will now develop their initial design ideas before submitting detailed proposals.

A winner is expected to be announced in the autumn.


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Readers' comments (6)

  • which is up and coming?

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  • wow these are actually terrible

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  • very nice, all but 1 are similar in design, i.e. suspension bridges - the exception being AL's which is a tied arch. The Thames is a designated helicopter route, I hope all of those vertical suspenders and suspension cables are well below the minimum flying height - this area of Battersea has an obvious and recent history in that regard

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  • How on earth can Westminster councillors object to the 'visual and environmental impact' of these proposals when they've recently rubber-stamped the far more intrusive (and less than elegant) 'green bridge' on a nearby stretch of the river that - if anything - is even more sensitive to intrusive 'interventions'?

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  • iain meek

    This access ramps look to be terribly time consuming for the average Londoner.

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  • I know that the AJ is keen to promote the architects in each of the shortlisted teams but, as the competition organisers, can I please point out that each team is in fact led by an engineering practice. Buro Happold leads the team in which Marks Barfleid are the architects; Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering lead the Robin Snook team and Ove Arup and Partners lead the teams with AL_A and Hopkins. It is worth noting also that Bystrup is a Danish firm, so the short list is not ‘All-Brit’ as stated! For a full list of competitors please visit the competition website: www.nepcompetition.co.uk/galleries.html

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