Over 70 designs unveiled for another new bridge across London's River Thames
Waterfalls, rainbow-coloured latticework and bright red cycle lanes feature among proposals for a new bridge across London's River Thames to rival Thomas Heatherwick's Garden Bridge (+ slideshow).
Designs by 74 international architectural and engineering teams were submitted in response to the competition launched by Wandsworth Council in December, which called for a structure to span the Thames between Nine Elms on the south bank and Pimlico on the north bank.
It will occupy a gap between the existing Vauxhall and Chelsea bridges, providing a new transport link for commuters.
All 74 anonymous proposals are available to view online on the competition website.
Many of the concepts show snaking and spiralling ramps to allow accessible ascent and descent from the bridge.
Red bicycle paths modelled to look like a racing track are included in one design, while another features looping sides lit by pink spotlights. Irregularly shaped latticework appears to engulf one design in petrol-coloured flames.
The Nine Elms bridge will form part of a £1 billion infrastructure plan for the 195-hectare Nine Elms district. A new tube station for the Battersea Power Station redevelopment is also part of the plan, which includes projects by architects Foster + Partners, Frank Gehry and BIG.
It is the second new bridge proposed for the Thames, alongside the now-approved Garden Bridge designed by Thomas Heatherwick. This structure, set to be covered in trees and plants, met further controversy last week when a legal challenge was put forward by Michael Ball, former director of the Waterloo Community Development Group.
A shortlist of up to four designs will be selected next month by a jury including architect Graham Stirk of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, engineer Henry Bardsley, and council leaders from the London boroughs of Wandsworth and Lambeth. The winning scheme will then move towards a planning application.
"We challenged the world's designers to come up with creative solutions to a very complex set of design, engineering and transport challenges," said Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia.
"To succeed this bridge must be two things at once. It must be a beautiful piece of architecture and a valuable new transport link."
The bridge is expected to cost £40 million and carry approximately 9,000 pedestrians and 9,000 cyclists daily. A contribution of £26 million has already been identified.
The project is open for public consultation and all 74 proposals will be exhibited at the ROSE Centre in Nine Elms from 27 to 28 February.