More than 70 submissions for the design of a cycling and pedestrian bridge linking Nine Elms and Pimlico in south west London have been whittled down to a shortlist of just four, announced this week.
Unlike the controversial Garden Bridge further upstream between Temple and the South Bank championed by actress Joanna Lumley, the one planned by Wandsworth Borough Council is intended to be a transport route, rather than a tourist attraction.
The initial designs revealed last month were deliberately kept anonymous to give up-and-coming engineers and architects a chance to compete for the winning design - but the firms behind the four announced today are all hard-hitters in their field.
Civil engineers Ove Arup lead two of the projects - one in collaboration with Hopkins Architects, desigers of the velodrome at the Lee Valley VeloPark, used in the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games.
Ove Arup & Partners with Hopkins Architects and Grant Associates (source Wandsworth BC)
Ove Arup & Partners with AL_A, Gross Max, Equals Consulting and Movement Strategies (source Wandsworth BC)
Bath-based Buro Happold also made the shortlist, and has previously been involved in major projects in the capital including the Millennium Dome and its remodelling as the O2 Arena, the replica of Shakespeare's Globe, and Arsenal FC's Emirates Stadium.
Buro Happold Limited - with Marks Barfield Architects, J and L Gibbons Landscape Architects, Gardiner and Theobald (source Wandsworth BC)
The fourth design is led by Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering, which has a wealth of experience in pedestrian and cyclist-friendly bridge design in its home country Denmark and elsewhere.
Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering - with Robin Snell and Partners, Sven Ole Hansen ApS, Aarsleff and AF Lighting (source Wandsworth BC)
Wandsworth Council says it expects to announce the winning design, which would have to undergo a detailed design phase as well as go through the planning process ahead of construction, this autumn.
A study by Transport for London has found that there is a strong transport case for the bridge in terms of providing a new crossing over the Thames and supporting the city’s target of encouraging sustainable transport to reduce emissions.
The shortlisted designs were unaminously chosen by a jury comprising Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia, Lambeth councillor Joanne Simpson, architect Graham Stirk, engineer Henry Bardsley and chair of Cabe at Design Council, Pam Alexander.
Councillor Govindia said: “I want to thank the jury panel and all of the designers who took part and made this such an exciting process. 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.”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.