Inspired by the existing lattice pylon originally designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield RA in 1927, New Town Studio, who was recently shortlisted for the Pylon Design Competition, uses a lattice steel framework to create a vertical structure which retains the transparent and open qualities of the original in a more modest form to be visually and symbolically appropriate for today. More on the project after the break.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and National Grid challenged architects, engineers, designers and students to re-think one of the most iconic features of the British landscape: the electricity pylon, when it announced the competition in May 2011. Proposals were invited to develop a new pylon design to meet the UK’s future energy needs with the potential to deliver for generations to come, while balancing community needs and preserving the beauty of our countryside.
The cylindrical tower is slimmer, lighter and more economical in its use of materials, occupying less than 1/3 of the footprint of the existing pylon. Vertical insulators have been removed from the pylon ‘arms’ resulting in a more elegant and compact profile. Featuring a modular lattice design that employs large members at the base, where forces are greater, Totem becomes increasingly light and open as it rises to its apex and most visible point.
The jury comprises a panel of experts from the fields of architecture, design, engineering and the energy industry and is chaired by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne. A prize of £5,000 will be awarded to the overall winner when the announcement is made in October 2011.
One of six to be chosen from over 250 entries in the anonymous competition, New Town Studio’s design is revealed today alongside other shortlisted proposals at a new exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (14 Sept – 5 Oct 2011).