Looking through both the successful and the unsuccessful designs for the New Islington footbridge competition, three immediate thoughts come to mind.
One is that despite the competition brief very clearly calling for a "sketch" design, many of the submissions were complex computer visualisations, no doubt with the aim to catch a judge's eye, but representing a level of effort entirely disproportionate to the odds of getting shortlisted.
The second is that the geometrical problem (to link five paths at different levels and in different directions) led to many variations on a small number of basic ideas: the ring and the starfish being the most popular. So: does the client really benefit from so many entries (87)?
The third is the distinct impression that many of the entrants would be better off with a career in furniture design than bridge design; they seem to think (and the judges seem to share this view) that the same principles can apply to both. Most of the entries shown below offer little or no evidence that basic structural concerns have been given even a passing thought. Which, for a bridge, is odd.
I intend to offer the entries without further comment. I'm limited to what I can find online, so I don't know how representative a cross-section of the entries these are. In general, clicking on the image should take you to a higher resolution version; clicking on the entrant's name should take you to any further information on the design available at their website.
Michael Hadi Associates & Gollifer Langston
Gunning Groothuizen Architects
McChesney Architects & Atelier One
Techniker + Glowacka Rennie
David Narro Associates + A+J Burridge
Arup + David Miller Architects
Buro Happold + FoRM Associates
The Space Studio
Urban Future Organisation
Working Architecture Group
Added 5 May 2009:
Guy Nordenson Associates