Last edited 16 Dec 2015

Nine Elms to Pimlico bridge


[edit] Introduction

The London Borough of Wandsworth is promoting an international, multi-disciplined competition for the design of a pedestrian and cycle bridge across the Thames which will link Nine Elms on the south bank to Pimlico on the north. The proposed budget is £40m of which some £26m has already been raised. Construction is envisaged to commence in 2018.

The public is to be involved in the selection process. A jury panel has also been established, chaired by Graham Stirk of Rogers, Stirk Harbour and Partners, architects and a founding sponsor of Designing Buildings Wiki. Given the highly technical nature of the project a technical panel will also be assembled to advise the jury.

Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council and co-chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership said, “This competition is calling for architects from across the globe to come forward with exceptional, inspiring designs for a new bridge at the centre of the world’s greatest city. The successful entry will have to win the hearts of Londoners who are tremendously proud of their river and its rich architectural heritage."

[edit] Brief

The bridge is required to be 150m minimum open span and 10.96m minimum height above ordinance datum so as not to impact on river traffic.

Several options are being considered for the location of the bridge and the final location will not be agreed until Stage 2 of the competition.

The brief requires that design proposals consider:

  • Inspiration.
  • Elegance.
  • Function.
  • Safety both for cyclists and pedestrian traffic.
  • Accessibility for all.
  • Cost effectiveness in construction and future maintenance.
  • A sense of place at both approaches to the bridge.

[edit] Stage 1 concepts

Stage 1 of the competition asked for two A2 size boards to be submitted by 16 February 2015.

Board 1 was to be a mixture of words, diagrams and sketches showing:

  • Integration of cycle and pedestrian traffic provisions.
  • Height and spans across the river.
  • Location of the landing points.
  • Construction methodology to minimise impact on river traffic.

Board 2 was to be a single image without words showing what the bridge will look like from the river or shoreline.

74 schemes were submitted. Have a look at the entries by clicking on the image below.

Nine elms bridge stage one entries.jpg

The four shortlisted schemes invited to take part in the next stage of the competition were:

  • Buro Happold Ltd with Marks Barfield Architects, J&L Gibbons Landscape Architects, Gardiner and Theobald.
  • Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering with Robin Snell & Partners, Sven Ole Hansen ApS, Aarsleff and ÅF Lighting.
  • Ove Arup & Partners Ltd with AL_A, Gross Max, Equals Consulting and Movement Strategies.
  • Ove Arup & Partners Ltd with Hopkins Architects and Grant Associates.

Click on the image below to see the shortlisted entries.

Nine elms short list.jpg

[edit] Stage 2

The Stage 2 Design Submissions for the four shortlisted design teams can be seen here.

[edit] Winner

In November 2015, it was announced that the scheme by team 025 had won the competition: Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering with Robin Snell & Partners, Sven Ole Hansen ApS, Aarsleff and ÅF Lighting.

Nine elms to pimlico bridge winning entry.jpg

Erik Bystrup said, "From the outset we wanted to design an elegant bridge that provided simple and uninhibited access for all, with minimal impact landings on each bank... We are very excited that this will be the first shared pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Thames, adding to the rich history of London's river crossings".

[edit] Criticism

In December 2015 The GMB union called on TFL to scrap plans for the bridge, which is expected to cost £40 million, some of which will be publicly funded. GMB pointed out that the proposed location for the bridge is only 350 yards from the existing Vauxhall bridge and suggested that there were more important priorities for public money.