Architecture: Design A Bridge For London!

Architecture: Design A Bridge For London!

Architecture: London is set to get a second new bridge over the Thames as Wandsworth Council launched its design competition this morning.

Despite the news being awash with negative comment this week on the go-ahead given to the controversial Garden Bridge, another bridge is being planned for the Thames, and this time those in charge want it to be designed by public.

London Borough of Wandsworth has launched an international design competition calling for innovative and inspiring ideas for a pedestrianised bridge to span the River Thames, beginning at Nine Elms on the south bank and stretching over to Pimlico on the north bank.

The competition brief is for a pedestrian and cycle crossing and is open to architects and engineers internationally. It will be divided into two stages during which competitors will be asked to take on five key design challenges:

  1. The bridge must be designed to the highest quality standards with a budget of £40m
  2. It must be ‘inspiring, elegant and functional’
  3. It must be readily used by 9,000 cyclists and 9,000 pedestrians daily
  4. There must be enough headroom for river traffic
  5. It must win the ‘hearts and minds’ of local people

The bridge will be part of the £1 billion of infrastructure planned for the 195-hectare Nine Elms area in the Wandsworth borough. The plans include two new Northern Line tube stations for the Battersea Power Station redevelopment amongst other projects designed by architects Foster + Partners, Frank Gehry and BIG such as improvements to local rail stations, two riverbus piers and a new network of footpaths, parks and cycle lanes.

After the controversy of the nearby Garden Bridge, which has come under heavy criticism from locals for failing to cater to the needs of the public and has been accused of being a ‘money-making scheme for TfL’ amongst other criticisms, the council have cleverly put this one firmly into the hands of the public to design and decide upon.

Confirmed panel members include Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia, architect Graham Stirk, engineer Henry Bardsley and CABE chair Pam Alexander.

photo credit: Lambeth Council

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