Dozens of rival designs unveiled for a new Nine Elms to Pimlico bridge

Designers from across the globe have submitted rival ideas for a new bridge linking Nine Elms to Pimlico

Published: Monday 23rd February 15

Dozens of rival designs for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the Thames have been unveiled today as part of an international design competition run by Wandsworth Council.

The bridge would span the river between Nine Elms and Pimlico, plugging the wide gap between the Vauxhall and Chelsea bridges.


A total of 74 professional teams from across the globe have entered the contest including some of the biggest names in the architecture and engineering industries as well as some of the most exciting up and coming talents.  

At this stage of the EU regulated competition the designs are being displayed on an anonymous basis. This ensures new talent can compete on a level playing field with established practices.

The first stage design ideas are being published online and showcased to communities in Nine Elms and Pimlico at local exhibitions (details below).  

Wandsworth Council is asking Londoners to have their say and comments will be fed into the competition’s jury panel which includes Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia, Lambeth councillor Joanne Simpson, architect Graham Stirk, engineer Henry Bardsley and CABE chair Pam Alexander.

Each design proposal is now undergoing a detailed technical assessment. In March 2015 the jury panel will recommend a shortlist of up to four teams to go through to the next competitive stage and to develop more detailed plans.

Leader of Wandsworth Council and jury panel member, Cllr Ravi Govindia, said: “We challenged the world’s designers to come up with creative solutions to a very complex set of design, engineering and transport challenges. The response is testament to the exceptional talent out there.  We have now begun to analyse each proposal in detail and I encourage Londoners to explore these ideas for themselves and to tell us what they think.

“To succeed this bridge must be two things at once. It must be a beautiful piece of architecture and a valuable new transport link. This is what our growing city needs and thanks to this competition we now have more than 70 different approaches to consider.”

A TfL transport study confirms the Nine Elms to Pimlico bridge has a strong business case and would provide another valuable route through central London to support the shift towards zero emission, sustainable travel options.

A £26million contribution is already identified from the development of Nine Elms and the new design would be used to lever-in further funding. The scheme has the support of the Mayor of London. 

The bridge is part of the infrastructure package needed to support growth in Nine Elms and Vauxhall where tens of thousand of new jobs and homes are now being created alongside billions in growth and tax receipts. 

The competition is being run by Colander and follows OJEU public sector procurement processes so the successful design team can be appointed to the project. Once the winning design is selected, it would need to go through the planning process before work could begin.

Find out more at and view the TfL feasibility study on the Nine Elms on the South Bank website.

- ENDS –


Exhibition location and times:

North Bank Exhibition:

Westminster Boating Base,136 Grosvenor Road, London SW1V 3JY

  • Monday 23rd February – 11am – 7pm
  • Tuesday 24th February – 9am – 7pm

South Bank Exhibition:

ROSE Centre, Ascalon Street, London SW8 4DJ

  • Friday 27th February – 1-7pm
  • Saturday 28th February – 10am – 6pm


 View comments on this article

Comments on this news item have been closed.

If you wish to complain about a comment, contact us at

Recent comments

As the resident personally closest to the most probable location for the new bridge (I own the most westerly penthouse at Riverside Court directly adjacent to the new bridge site)) I have to express my enthusiasm for the first phase of design ideas. Of course, there will be many concerns expressed about noise, practicality, the servicing and cleanliness of lifts and walkways, cyclist and pedestrian access etc. BUT the sheer elan of most of the submissions, the inspiring beauty of many of the designs and the practical benefits of closer North Bank/South Bank linkage surely make a compelling case for this exciting project. I look forward to the next stage with great expectations. Michael Williams
Michael Williams

6 March 2015

Hi, I would like to make comments on the design requirements for the bridge which may be useful for your judging panel - how do I do that? Thanks.
Goutam Bose

3 March 2015

Most of these ideas are plain ridiculous - especially No.8 - doesn't the designer know there are boats on the Thames? I don't think they would want to pass through a waterfall. Why would people in Nine Elms want to walk over to Pimlico (and vice versa)? The Victoria Line goes through both and there is a large bus terminal at Vauxhall, so they don't need to cross the river on a new bridge to/from nowhere in particular. The logic of building a bridge there and its usefulness escape me - and who is going to pay for it's construction - not the taxpayer or local residents I hope. Has the American Embassy moving to Nine Elms got anything to do with this daft idea? I shall be objecting when it comes to the Planning Committee.
S Campbell

1 March 2015

What happened to the suggested pedestrian bridge by the side of Wandsworth Railway Bridge?? All this money spent on cyclists and pedestrians. Surely in view of all the housing being built in Wandsworth new roads and a bridge or tunnel for motorists - who put more into the economy would be a better idea.
Elizabeth Denton

28 February 2015

Nine Elms to Pimlico bridge? What happened to the Battersea to Chelsea Harbour bridge? Perhaps a little more wanted by locals but much less prestigious!

27 February 2015

Very small pictures .
Christopher Newbery Davies

27 February 2015

whichever design is chosen it should incorporate a clear barrier between cyclists and pedestrians. If it doesn't, like so many pavements, it will be a very unpleasant experience for those of us who walk.

24 February 2015

74 designs submitted, of which at least 65 are awful and 20 are utter abominations of design (sic) which are more about satisfying the out-of-control egos of the architects than the needs of the residents, the visitors or the space. Can we trust the council to make a sensible decision and not go for a ridiculous "statement" or "landmark" design that will end up costing double the original estimate and look like a mess has been dropped there without any thought or consideration for the existing architecture of the areas it meets?

23 February 2015