Design contest victory sparks new attacks on Nine Elms bridge
Posted on: 03/12/2015

Despite Bystrup’s winning footbridge design meeting competition requirements, critics have weighed in against the concept and proposed design of the £40 million Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge. Local residents and design experts have hit back against the judging panel, who selected Bysturp with Robin Snell Architects as designers for the new crossing between Pimlico and Nine Elms.

Critics have called for the ‘vanity project’ to be immediately cancelled, with leading bridge designer Cezary Bednarski supporting that the proposed design would be out of place in London.

“In my view this is the wrong structural system for this location. This is an urban location and urban locations call for urban visual idioms. This bridge is not “urban”. It would best sit in open countryside, where it would be a focal attraction. The curved ramps taking cyclists onto the bride would be a hair-raising experience at rush hour”.

Councillors from Westminster Council were also concerned about the visual and environmental impact, and noted potential issues with ‘traffic flows and pedestrian movement’ in and around Pimlico on the north bank.

“There has been a large community petition against the bridge and a wide ranging community campaign and yet the council still ploughs on without regard to the views of residents.” Westminster councillor Jason Williams said.

However, Transport for London board member and chair of the Mayor of London’s design advisory group Daniel Moylan voiced support for the process.

He said: “I think the principle of such a bridge is very welcome. I am sure the jury, under such distinguished chairmanship, has done a good job in identifying the best proposal”.

Architect Graham Stirk, who headed the competition jury panel, selected the Danish firm over 74 other entries for the 2014 competition organised by Wandsworth Council.

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