London has its fair share of iconic bridges already, but it wants more. It’s about to start building the Garden Bridge–a very green pedestrian walkway designed by Thomas Heatherwick. And now it wants another bridge to connect Pimlico, near Victoria Station, with a massive new development in Nine Elms, on the south side of the river.
The London Borough of Wandsworth recently put out a call for design ideas, with a brief to create a “unique landmark” that caters both to pedestrians and cyclists. “Be innovative and memorable and challeng[e] previous interpretations of bridge design,” said the web site. Eighty seven design teams responded and it seems like they succeeded, with the untraditional bit anyway. See a full gallery of the designs here, or a selection in the slide show.
The real impetus for the project isn’t some bridge-building fetish (though there’s nothing wrong with that). It’s to connect central London with the site around Battersea Power Station, which is finally being redeveloped. The lumbering old coal-powered plant–immortalized in a Pink Floyd album cover–was closed in 1983 and has been left untouched ever since. Off-plan apartments went on sale last year, with the first phase of construction due to be completed in 2016 or 2017.
The Pimlico-Nine Elms bridge has a budget of about $61 million and could be ready for walkers and cyclists by 2018.