80 battle for Nine Elms bridge job

A_new_bridge_to_link_Nine_Elms_with_PimlicoEighty professional teams from 16 different countries are competing to design the new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the River Thames from Nine Elms to Pimlico.

The competitors, who cannot be named at this stage of the EU regulated process, have qualified for the initial stage having proved they have the skills and capacity to meet the demands of this complex project.

In a few weeks time, the competitors will submit their first design ideas, which will go on public display. This will be on an anonymous basis so reputations play no part and the designs are the sole focus of attention.

In March the competition’s jury panel will recommend a shortlist of up to four teams to go through to the next competitive stage. The winner will then be unveiled in late June.

Jury panel members include Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia, architect Graham Stirk, engineer Henry Bardsley, CABE chair Pam Alexander and Lambeth councillor Joanne Simpson.

Ravi 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. 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.

“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.”

A TfL transport study confirms the Nine Elms to Pimlico bridge has a strong business case and the forecast daily usage is 18,000 journeys, spilt evenly between those on bike and those on foot.

£26million is already committed to the project through the development of Nine Elms and the new design would be used to lever-in further funding. The scheme has the support of the Mayor of London.

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