Among the five, rather predictably, is bridge-building aficionado Wilkinson Eyre, which is joined by Whitby Bird, Spence Associates, Ian Ritchie and Flint & Neill.
The competition, organised on behalf of Warwickshire county council, is for an iconic foot and bicycle bridge which, the council hopes, will complement the historic setting of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the vista of Holy Trinity Church.
The new £2 million bridge will also improve pedestrian and cycling facilities as part of a comprehensive masterplan to regenerate the waterfront area.
The judging panel will include RIBA architectural advisor David Morley, West Midlands director of English Heritage Tim Johnson and Peter Wilson, development director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The designs are currently on view for public consultation before the final judging.