17 October 2008

Bridge competition debris part 4: River Douglas

This is the fourth (and, for now, final) post in a series collecting together entries to recent RIBA footbridge design competitions. The other posts have covered New Islington, Leeds-Liverpool Canal, and Sheffield Parkway.

At the time of writing, the winner of the River Douglas competition hasn't yet been chosen (although the announcement is due imminently). Seven entries have been shortlisted from a total of 110. I've discussed the shortlisted entries before, so the present post will only cover entries from designers who didn't make the shortlist.

One thing noticeable about the unsuccessful entries is that they have a less clear idea of structural form than those that were shortlisted. Perhaps this has something to do with the presence of respected bridge engineer Roger Buckby on the jury panel.

As ever, click the image for a larger version, and the name of the designer for a link to any relevant details on their website.

PS: I'm away for a week so won't be posting or moderating comments until I return.

Not shortlisted

A+J Burridge

Architects in Residence

Peter Barber Architects

Designer unknown (image from Realise3d)

Shuichiro Yoshida

Added 22 December 2008
Amenity Space

Burd Haward

Added 27 January 2009
Feix and Merlin

Added 5 May 2009
Frederic Schwartz Architects


Anonymous said...

This whole bridge competition thing (and subsequent debris) apparently became fashionable in the 1980's. So says the ever entertaining Mark Whitby in a charmingly immodest video monologue on The Architects' Journal website - see http://www.vimeo.com/2152640 - describing his solo role in defining the place of contemporary bridge design in the UK. Apparently, so influential was Whitby in defining the design of sickle arches, parapets and [er] non-straight lines, that he has single-handedly caused the rest of the industry to find other solutions. Maybe Mark Whitby has actually caused the post-80's debris?

The Happy Pontist said...

That's a very interesting video. Many of Whitbybird's bridges owe a very clear debt to the work of Santiago Calatrava, so it's unfortunate the video doesn't give credit where it is due. It's also interesting that WB are so keen not to work with architects on bridge design - I have to be honest and say that they're missing out there, because sympathetic bridge architects have much to offer that engineers alone can rarely achieve.

Anonymous said...

A little economic with the actualite, too. WB's bridge team has often comprised architects as well as engineers. Ramboll has a background of working with some excellent architects, including Dissing + Weitling on Storebaelt, so maybe this will rub off on Whitby.

Anonymous said...

Loved the "curved bridges are our trade mark" i agree HP.

Still WB produced some great bridges and credit to them have got them built.

Especially considering that most developer led bridges are part of 106 this means they wont get built until the end of the scheme - if ever.

Also in credit crunch times the schemes which produce the bridges will be thinner on the ground and take even more time.

Even a small bridge could take 5 years from concept to site before the developer / client want to part with the money - unless the council put in a clause to deliver the bridge early, but then who wants a bridge to no where if the scheme is not ready!

Designing these bridges is not the challenge, getting them to site is.

And who cares who is the 'designer' is, if you are good at it then thats all that matters not what title is under your name.

anon anon.

Anonymous said...

HP i was also shocked to see the shortlist - some very poor entries with lots of over detailing and ellaboration. Interesting to see how there was only one tall structure -which could not be afforded by the budget anyway.

Instead of juries wasting designers time and resources why don't they (the jury) say "we are looking for a low structure, possibly a stressed ribbon with some form of adjacent or under-slung arch"

For the next one I think RIBA should have a competition and just put names in a hat, probably a much fairer process. A lottery is just how the larger / more experienced practices look at these competitions.