US Ambassador joins Nine Elms locals at bridge design exhibitions

Published: Monday 2nd March 15

U.S. Ambassador Matthew Barzun met with Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia last week to examine dozens of rival designs for a new bridge across the Thames between Nine Elms and Pimlico.

The images were on display at the Rose Community Centre on the Savona Estate as part of an international design competition. The exhibitions were held to give local residents the chance to inspect the alternative options and have their say.

The Ambassador with Ravi Govindia

Ambassador Barzun’s new London HQ is currently being built close to the Nine Elms riverside and could be well placed to benefit from a new pedestrian and cycle link to the north shore.

The American mission expects to move to its new south bank home in 2017.

Ravi Govindia said: “This design competition has really captured peoples’ imaginations, including the Ambassador’s.  The level of interest has been huge and it’s easy to see why when you look at the incredible range of ideas we have on display. The exhibition will remain online for next few weeks so please do visit the website and provide your feedback.”

The proposed 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.

Feedback from the exhibitions 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 at the Design Council 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.

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 team is selected, it will work with the council to develop its design. This 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.

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Recent comments

We are quite short of schools in Wandsworth - and hospitals and decent roads. So why not stop wasting money on cyclists - who put nothing into the economy - and improve our roads.
Elizabeth Denton

7 March 2015