27 August 2017

Shortlist announced for New Danube Bridge competition

The shortlisted entrants have been announced in a competition to design a new road bridge over the River Danube in Budapest, Hungary. The new bridge will provide a long-planned connection to the south of the Budapest city centre, and a bridge is being sought which is structurally efficient, architecturally high-quality, and innovative in design.

The 17 shortlisted teams are:

  • Arhitektura d.o.o. & Ponting d.o.o.
  • CÉH Tervező, Beruházó és Fejlesztő Zrt
  • Explorations Architecture & COWI UK Ltd
  • FHECOR Ingenieros Consultores & DISSING+WEITLING architecture *
  • Főmterv Mérnőki Tervező Zrt
  • Knight Architects & Ove Arup and Partners *
  • Lavigne et Chéron Architectes, Bureau d’Etude Greisch, Közkekedés Engineers, Geovil *
  • Leonhardt Andrä und Partner, Beratende Ingenieure, Zaha Hadid Architects, WERNER Consult, Smoltzcyk and Partner *
  • Marc Mimram Architecture & Associes
  • Mott MacDonald with Brownlie, Ernst and Marks *
  • NEY + Partners BXL S.A.
  • Pont-terv Mérnöki Tervező és Tanácsadó Zrt
  • setec tpi, Wilkinson Eyre & Terrasol *
  • Speciálterv Építőmérnöki Kft
  • Unitef-83 Műszaki Tervező és Fejlesztő Zrt
  • Van Berkel en Bos U.N. Studio B.V. & Buro Happold Consulting Engineers P.C
  • Uvaterv Út- Vasúttervező Zrt
The selection process was interesting: twelve teams were pre-selected by the competition organisers. All but one of these made it past the pre-qualification hurdle.

A further six entrants have survived a competitive selection process, being ranked the highest scoring out of an undeclared number of additional entrants - I've marked these with a * above. This part of the selection process appears to have been somewhat odd, entrants being ranked according to the quantity of professional certificates and prizes they can demonstrate across a range of relevant projects and team experts. It seems a process calculated to bring in big names rather than simply the most creative designers.

The 17 shortlisted teams have until 5th January to develop and submit their designs, and will each receive a 40,000 euro stipend to support their efforts. Results of the competition are due to be announced on 8th March 2018, and prize money is available for the three top entries plus three additional runners-up. The total budget set aside by the promoter for all of this is €910,000.

The generous funding is matched by the size of the 21-member competition jury, so the overwhelming message appears to be how seriously the organisers are taking the exercise.

I anticipate that the competition entries will be made public in due course, so I'll look forward to discussing them here in due course.

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