03 October 2016

Shortlist announced for Upper Orwell Crossing competition

Suffolk County Council have announced shortlisted design teams for this bridge design competition. The shortlist is:
  • Adamson Associates (Toronto) with William Matthews Associates and Ney & Partners
  • Foster + Partners (London)
  • Knight Architects (High Wycombe)
  • Marc Mimram (Paris)
  • Wilkinson Eyre (London) with FHECOR and EADON Consulting
These are some pretty high-powered designers, and it will be very interesting to see what they come up with. Designs are to be submitted by mid-December with a winner announced in January 2017, a slight slip from the original timetable.

I understand that the promoter relaxed their original financial requirements at the prequalification stage, which has allowed some smaller practices to jump the opening hurdle. Sadly however, they did not relax the requirement for only registered architects to participate.

The engineer (WSP|PB) is already appointed, and whichever architect wins the contest will be appointed to work with the engineer to develop designs for two new highway bridges and a swing bridge refurbishment.

Judging of submissions is on the basis of two design concepts for each of the bridges, plus a fixed lump sum fee proposal, so it will be interesting to try and guess whether the winner has succeeded on creative merit or on price, or a mixture of both. The financial element will work against certain entrants, I think, as my experience is that architects' fee levels can vary significantly.

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