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 Thames. 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.
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 have released a new image of the proposed copper-nickel alloy cladding that will adorn Heatherwick Studio’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.
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.
London 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.
Wandsworth Council has announced that it plans to hold an international design competition for a new pedestrian and cylist bridge across the Thames, 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
“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
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 ellipse 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.”
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 bridge”, has resonated with the public imagination and surpassed its initial funding goals, becoming an important part of Rotterdam’s urban rejuvenation.
Read more about the unusual birth of this public bridge, after the break…
Thousands gathered Saturday to celebrate the grand opening of Santiago Calatrava‘s Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge that connects east and west Dallas seamlessly over the Trinity River. A parade of builders, including everyone from those to poured the concrete 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.
Architects: DVVD / Daniel Vaniche, Vincent Dominguez, Bertrand Potel
Location: Meaux, France
Landscape Architects: Mutabilis
Client: City of Meaux
Builders: Brisard Dampierre (framework) / Demathieu & Bard (concrete building)
Construction Year: 2010-2011
Photographs & Images: Courtesy of DVVD
Korean creative director Byung Ju Lee of Planning Korea announced a new paradigm in bridge called ‘Paik Nam June Media Bridge’ 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 bridge 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 concrete construction. Paik Nam June Media Bridge 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 bridge is covered with solar panels to generate energy by itself, and totals a length of 1080m.
Once again, our friend Architect Aristide Antonas surprises us with a wonderful project, this time in London. 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!
Architects: CA-DESIGN / Architecture and Urban Planning
Location: Quingpu, Shanghai, China
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
Provincial Court of Bizkaia has sentenced Bilbao City Hall to pay a 30,000 euros compensation to architect Santiago Calatrava for modifying the Zubi-Zuri bridge, 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.