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Top teams in running for new London cycling bridge over the Thames

by Jak Phillips | 22 Jul 2015

Designs from Hopkins Architects, Amanda Levete and Arup (two entries) are among those in final contention for a new £40m pedestrian and cycle bridge across London's River Thames intended to boost active commuting.

Active design has been a hot topic in recent months, especially in light of new research which found cities which strive to promote physical activity gain a significant economic advantage. A study from cycling charity Sustrans, meanwhile, found that the UK’s National Cycle Network has saved the economy more than £7bn since it was established 20 years ago.

Wandsworth Council, which is running a design competition for the new London bridge, has unveiled proposals from the four architecture and engineering teams which have been shortlisted for the contest. One of the challenges for the teams – picked from a field of 74 entrants – is to create a bridge which is high enough for boats to pass under, but not too steep for pedestrians and cyclists to climb.

The bridge is seen as a key part of a major infrastructure package that is in place to transform and regenerate the Nine Elms district, with the crossing offering a car-free alternative that would boost active commuting.

“We now have some very exciting and quite spectacular designs on the table,” said Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council.

“There is still a long way to go but these teams have given us real hope that a solution can be found to the complex challenges involved in creating a new pedestrian and cycle link across this stretch of the river.”

The winning team will be named later this year by the competition’s jury panel, which includes Govindia, Lambeth councillor Joanne Simpson, architect Graham Stirk, engineer Henry Bardsley and chair of Cabe at the Design Council Pam Alexander.

The shortlisted teams are:

• Buro Happold 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 with AL_A, Gross Max, Equals Consulting and Movement Strategies

• Ove Arup & Partners with Hopkins Architects and Grant Associates

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Designs from Hopkins Architects, Amanda Levete and Arup (two entries) are among those in final contention for a new £40m pedestrian and cycle bridge across London's River Thames intended to boost active commuting. Active design has been a hot topic in recent months, especially in light of new research which found cities which strive to promote physical activity gain a significant economic advantage. A study from cycling charity Sustrans, meanwhile,
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The crossing is expected to offer a car-free alternative that would boost active commuting / Buro Happold
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