Is A Futuristic London Right Around The Corner?
Potential designs for a new bridge over the Thames could radically transform the city’s landscape.
London may be getting a flashy new edition to its already glittering Nine Elms District. This past Monday 74 potential designs for a £40m pedestrian and cycling bridge between Nine Elms and Pimlico, Southwest London, were unveiled at the Westminster Boating Base on Grosvenor Road. Out of 74, four will be shortlisted in March. In the meantime, they are being displayed anonymously to comply with EU competition rules. “This ensures reputations play no part and that the designs themselves are the sole focus of attention,” the exhibition’s organizers told The Guardian this week. The entrants vary from practical green walkways to something straight out of The Matrix.
Next month, after a jury panel of architects, engineers, and council leaders vote on the designs, the chosen four will be asked to develop more in-depth proposals. “The successful entry will have to win the hearts of Londoners who are tremendously proud of their river and its rich architectural heritage,” says Conservative council leader Ravi Govindia Wandsworth. “We want not only a functional bridge, but a beautiful bridge.” Though fascinating to design writers, the plans aren’t popular with Pimlico residents. Both Westminster’s Labour and Conservative parties are opposing the expensive bridge — believing it will destroy one of the last green spaces left remaining on the riverside. It seems that not everyone is quite ready for a “gushing mandolin” in their backyard:
The winner will be announced in July, but all 74 designs will be on view at the Rose Centre in Ascalon Street, London SW8 Friday and Saturday.
Below we’ve culled a few of our favorite bonkers designs: