The Royal Victoria Dock Footbridge, a spectacular landmark bridge in London's Docklands, is to get a new neighbour.
A project has been announced to design a second footbridge over the same dock, to be built by December 2011 in time for the London 2012 Olympics. The £7m structure forms part of a key pedestrian route between Pontoon Dock DLR station and the ExCel exhibition centre.
The promoter, London Borough of Newham, is looking for "a well-considered and appropriate piece of sustainable urban design that raises the spirit and makes the local community proud", but they note that budget and programme are paramount.
The project is likely to prove quite a challenge, with the dock being roughly 130m across, occasionally used for navigation by tall ships, and the site is very close to London City airport. Some idea of previous solutions to the problem can be gained from my post on the last competition to be held at Royal Victoria Dock.
On behalf of the local authority, Ringway Jacobs have invited expressions of interest to be lodged by 4th January 2010. Shortlisted design teams will then be invited to a series of "design workshops" in January, watched over by Chris Wise and Ed McCann of Expedition Engineering.
The winning team will be appointed by the end of January to deliver their concept design by April 2010. There's a small honoraria of £2,000 for shortlisted teams, but it's far from clear what the terms of appointment or scope of work will be, with Ringway Jacobs making clear their desire to take over the detailed design once the concept is complete. The prospective carrot is therefore somewhat smaller than for a typical bridge design competition, but this is not a typical competition, more of a competitive interview.
It should certainly be interesting to see the bridge that results. For more details, see the competition website.