London’s Battersea Bridge Competition is a Symbol of a Divided City

“The Spaffy Tangle”. Image Courtesy of Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership

The recent unveiling of the 74 entries to the Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge competition was undoubtedly intended to cause a media circus, hoping to emulate the furore that surrounded the much larger Helsinki Guggenheim competition when they released all 1,715 of their entries to the web in October of last year. The competition, which asked designers to propose “one of the most expressive and visible landmarks in London,” is the latest in a series of  dramatic changes taking place on this stretch of the South Bank of the . This new community, one of London’s most prestigious new neighbourhoods, includes Keiran Timberlake’s new US Embassy and a slew of residential developments, culminating in the highly-touted renovation of Battersea Power Station, complete with accompanying buildings by Foster + Partners and Frank Gehry, and a public space by BIG.

Initial reactions to the competition entries has been mixed at best. The Guardian’s architecture critic Oliver Wainwright took the opportunity to poke light-hearted fun at a selection of designs, using his considerable powers of wordplay to dub entries with titles such as The Greenhouse Funhouse, The Spaffy Tangle, Razorwire Party Bridge, and The Flaming Mouth of Hades. Similarly, City Metric ran the news with an article titled “The 12 Most Ridiculous Designs for the New Battersea Bridge”, sparking a debate on Reddit in which users branded the projects “varying degrees of insane” and “ridiculous doodles.” But beyond all this jovial name-calling, these designs are symptomatic of an unhealthy approach to wealth that London seems unable (or perhaps unwilling) to address.

74 “Wild Designs” Considered for New Thames Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge

Courtesy of Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership

All 74 “wild designs” being considered to become London’s next “landmark” have been released to the public. As part of a two-stage competition, architects worldwide have submitted ideas for a new £40 million pedestrian and cycle bridge that will connect London’s Nine Elms and Pimlico communities over the River Thames. 

The jury, chaired by Graham Stirk of Rogers Stirk Harbour, will choose four schemes to move onto the competition’s second and final round in March. These designs will be then shortlisted and further developed with input by the community and client before a winner is announced in July. 

See a selection of the considered bridge designs, after the break. 

Arup Reveals Image Of Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge ‘Cupro-Nickel’ Cladding

New image showing the copper-nickel (cupronickel) cladding. Image Courtesy of Arup

Arup have released a new image of the proposed copper-nickel alloy cladding that will adorn ’s Garden Bridge in London. According to a report by the Architects’ Journal, the “concrete structure will be coated in ‘cupro-nickel‘, from its feet on the riverbed up to the base of the balustrades on the bridge deck.” The copper will be donated from Glencore, a multi-national mining company, forming ”a protective skin to the carbon steel structure giving it a maintenance free 120-year life, protecting the bridge from river and environmental corrosion.” More than 240 tonnes of the metal alloy, which often finds use in medical equipment and ship propellers, will be used.

64North to Construct “Sparkling” Palo Alto Pedestrian Bridge Over Highway 101

Courtesy of the City of Palo Alto

64 North, HNTB Engineering, Bionic Landscape Architecture and sculptor Ned Kahn have been chosen by the City of Palo Alto to realized a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge over the 14-lane Highway 101 at Adobe Creek. Their winning proposal, “Confluence” will connect residential and commercial areas in south Palo Alto to the Baylands Nature Preserve and the regional Bay Trail network.

Read on for more information and a video about the design. 

McDowell + Benedetti’s Footbridge and Rail Station Underway in Terni

Courtesy of McDowell+Benedetti

based firm McDowell+Benedetti has recently announced that their design for a new 180 metre footbridge and improved rail station in Terni, Italy, has begun work on the site. A future landmark for the town, the £3.5 million (€4.4 million) project promises to provide an expanded commuter hub for the area with connections to fast trains to Rome. Learn more about this project after the break.

Design Contest Announced for New Thames Bridge at Nine Elms

The area of Nine Elms in London. Image Courtesy of Development Company

Wandsworth Council has announced that it plans to hold an international design competition for a new pedestrian and cylist bridge across the , connecting Nine Elms on the South of the river to Pimlico on the North. The announcement comes in response to a feasibility study by Transport for London which concluded that a bridge at this location could handle around 9,000 walkers and 9,000 cyclists a day at a construction cost of £40 million.

More on the competition after the break

HOK Proposes East London Thames Crossing

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Nearly half of London’s population lives east of Tower Bridge yet they are served by only two fixed road river crossings,” says Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). This is the infrastructural predicament which has sparked the LCCI’s “Bridge East London” campaign, a proposal for bridge linking Beckton and Thamesmead at Gallions Reach, which is aided by a design by HOK.

The proposal was unveiled on Monday, the 120th anniversary of the opening of Tower Bridge. Designed to allow clear passage for both ships underneath and aircraft taking off or landing at City Airport above, the bridge also features a segregated cycle path, adding a much needed - and entirely safe – river crossing for London’s growing number of cyclists.

More on the bridge after the break

Elliptical Bridge Proposal / Penda

Courtesy of Chris Precht and Alex Daxböck

Architecture firm, penda design house, led by Chris Precht and in collaboration with Alex Daxböck, submitted designs of a pedestrian bridge for the RIBA-sponsored Salford Meadows Bridge Competition in England.

The “O” is an elegantly simple concept, manifesting itself as a striking reinterpretation of a traditional pedestrian bridge. The multifaceted bridge offers unique and evolving perspectives to approaching pedestrians, culminating in a mesmerizing that engulfs those crossing the Irwell River. “Creating an inviting gesture for the Salford meadows was a main goal,” says Precht, we envisioned “a transition space, where the structure almost hugs you.”

Luchtsingel / ZUS + Hofbogen BV

© Ossip van Duivebode

The Luchtsingel is a pedestrian footbridge in Rotterdam that is being realized by crowdfunding, an exciting new means of funding in which the public donates money via an online platform (essentially investing in an unrealized idea) in order to make a project reality. The Luchtsingel, which uses the slogan “the more you donate, the longer the ”, has resonated with the public imagination and surpassed its initial funding goals, becoming an important part of ’s urban rejuvenation.

Read more about the unusual birth of this public bridge, after the break…

Thousands celebrate Santiago Calatrava’s new Dallas Bridge

© Marco Becerra

Thousands gathered Saturday to celebrate the grand opening of Santiago Calatrava‘s Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge that connects east and west seamlessly over the Trinity River. A parade of builders, including everyone from those to poured the to Calatrava himself, were the first to march across the new Dallas icon, followed by nearly 16,000 other people. Although the bridge is still not quite ready for vehicular traffic, the city celebrated its commencement with an impressive display of fireworks. Continue reading for more.

AD Classics: Bac de Roda Bridge / Santiago Calatrava

© www.flickr.com / Jaume Meneses

The Bac de Roda by Santiago Calatrava marks his first foray into bridge design. Part of a larger development plan in preparation for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, the bridge functions as both a symbolic and physical connection to two previously disjointed districts; Sant Marti and Sant Andreu. More information after the break.

In Progress: Footbridge Over the Marne / DVVD

© Courtesy of DVVD

Architects: DVVD / Daniel Vaniche, Vincent Dominguez, Bertrand Potel
Location: Meaux,
Engineers: DVVD
Landscape Architects: Mutabilis
Client: City of Meaux
Builders: Brisard Dampierre (framework) / Demathieu & Bard (concrete building)
Construction Year: 2010-2011
Photographs & Images: Courtesy of DVVD

Paik Nam June Media Bridge / Planning Korea

Courtesy of Planning Korea

Korean creative director Byung Ju Lee of Planning Korea announced a new paradigm in called ‘Paik Nam June Media ’ in Seoul, Korea. Connecting Dangi-li Power Plant (which has a plan to be redeveloped into public cultural space) in the north and The National Assembly Building in the south, this shows the first example of ‘a city expanded to the river’.  Similar to the Thames River and the Seine River, the Han River in Seoul crosses the center of a city, however is of a much larger scale.  There are almost 30 bridges over the Han River, but most of them were made of steel and construction.  Paik Nam June Media approaches the concept of crossing the Han River in a more sculptural, futuristic, and eco-friendly way. Inspired by the water strider, the overall shape is organic, with a sleek streamlined outline. This mega structure is covered with solar panels to generate energy by itself, and totals a length of 1080m.

More images of the Quingpu Pedestrian Bridge

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Last week, we featured the Quingpu Pedestrian Bridge designed by CA-DESIGN. The project received many good reviews from you, so they sent more images of the bridge, taken by Nacasa & Partners. See all the fantastic images of the project by day and night after the break.

Bridge From Recycled Grids / Aristide Antonas

courtesy of Aristide Antonas
courtesy of

Once again, our friend Architect Aristide Antonas surprises us with a wonderful project, this time in . The design is really interesting but also the way he work the infographics, all in black and with, very sober and austere.

Hope you enjoy as much as I did looking at the project and understanding it!

Quingpu Pedestrian Bridge / CA-DESIGN

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Architects: CA-DESIGN / Architecture and Urban Planning
Location: Quingpu, Shanghai,
Director in charge: Pedro Pablo Arroyo Alba
Collaborators: Yki Fo (project leader), Chen Junquan, Yang Yixiu, Wang Fan, Wang Xin, Pablo Sendra Fernández, Eva Jiménez del Río, Luo Wei.
Client: Shanghai Qingpu New City Construction Development (Group) Co. Ltd.
Engineering: Bridge Structures Department of Tongji University
Contractor: Shanghai Greenland Construction (Group) Co. Ltd.
Project year: 2004-2008
Site Area: 1,000 sqm
Photographs:

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Bilbao City Hall sentenced to pay compensation to Calatrava

Provincial Court of Bizkaia has sentenced City Hall to pay a 30,000 euros compensation to architect Santiago Calatrava for modifying the Zubi-Zuri , by adding a gateway to access Isozaki Towers. The court considered that the “general interest” doesn’t prevail over the “moral right” of the author.

Calatrava demanded 250,000 euros, but if the gateway added by the City Hall wasn’t retired, he demanded 3.000,000 euros. However, the court said although Calatrava’s bridge was indeed modified, it wasn’t affected on it’s track, structure and access. The gateway was not removed, and Calatrava got 30,000 euros.

Lillefjord Rest area & footbridge / Pushak

Architects: Pushak
Location: Lillefjord, Finnmark,
Project Year: 2006
Client: Norwegian Road Administration, The National Tourist Road Project
Photographs: