Latest designs unveiled for a new Nine Elms to Pimlico bridge

Published: Tuesday 21st July 15

Updated proposals for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the Thames between Pimlico and Nine Elms have been unveiled today as part of a design competition run by Wandsworth Council.

Londoners are being invited to comment on the four alternative proposals, each of which is being developed by a team of internationally renowned architects and engineers.

The four competing teams were shortlisted earlier this year from among 74 initial competition entries.

Since then the design ideas have been developed further and will be on display at exhibitions in Wandsworth and Westminster in the coming days (details below).  They can also be viewed in more detail on the project website.

The wining team will be named later this year by the competition’s jury panel which includes Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia, Lambeth Councillor Joanne Simpson, architect Graham Stirk, engineer Henry Bardsley and  Chair of  Cabe at the Design Council Pam Alexander.

The shortlist includes:

  • TEAM 021 : Buro Happold Ltd (lead team) with Marks Barfield Architects, J&L Gibbons Landscape Architects, Gardiner and Theobald

  • TEAM 025 : Design and Engineering (lead team) with Robin Snell & Partners, Sven Ole Hansen ApS, Aarsleff and ÅF Lighting



  • TEAM 047 : Partners Ltd (lead team) with AL_A, Gross Max, Equals Consulting and Movement Strategies  



  • Ove Arup & Partners Ltd (lead team) with Hopkins Architects and Grant Associates

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, said:

“We now have some very exciting and quite spectacular designs on the table. There is still a long way to go but these teams have given us real hope that a solution can be found to the complex challenges involved in creating a new pedestrian and cycle link across this stretch of the river.”

Among the most difficult puzzles for the design teams to overcome is the bridge height which has to rise high above the banks so large vessels can pass beneath. This has to be done without creating too steep a slope for cyclists and pedestrians.

This is though to be the first bridge in the centre of a major world city designed around the needs of cyclists and pedestrians. Bikes and walkers will be travelling in both directions and must be able to get across safely and effectively without coming into conflict.

Other key challenges include:

  • Creating a fitting landmark which is sensitive to the different urban characteristics of each shoreline and elegant in its own right
  • Providing a safe and attractive link for pedestrians and cyclists crossing the river, encouraging sustainable travel between the two banks
  • Complying with the Disability Discrimination Act; ensuring it is accessible to all
  • Minimising the loss of open space and positively enhancing the public realm where it lands on either bank
  • Achieving a safe and efficient integration with the transport network on both banks

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

A £26million contribution is already identified from the development of Nine Elms and the new winning design would be used to lever-in further funding. 

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

The competition is being managed by Colander and follows OJEU public sector procurement processes so the successful design team can be appointed to the project should it go live. The scheme would need to go through the planning system before it could be built. 

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


21st & 22nd July, 9:30am - 7:30pm:
The Gallery on the Corner, 155 Battersea Park Road, SW8 4BU

23rd & 24th July, 9:30am - 6:00pm:
Hyde Park Room, Regus Building, 8th Floor, 50 Broadway, SW1H 0RG


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Recent comments

This will provide a useful link both for shorter journeys on foot and for cyclists coming from and going to a wider area. The shortlisted designs for the bridge are impressive
Alan Fennell

10 August 2015

The 'straight line' design of 021 offers little creativity and obliges pedestrians carry on walking without taking in their surroundings. Aren't we, as a society, already in too much of a hurry? I much prefer the others, with their curvatures/twists at each end. My choice, design 025 by Bystrup, is simple yet elegant and compels individuals as they walk to look forward visually and take in both the east and west views of the River Thames and its architecture. The flow and follow through of the design isn't over the top.
O.A. Du Bois

31 July 2015

As I don't live in the area I would not use this bridge but, if local residents feel that it would be a useful addition, then I prefer the design by Team 021 (Buro Happold) as it is both simple and elegant whereas I find the other three designs a bit too fussy. It also appears to fit in well with its surroundings. Unfortunately I received the newsletter too late to go to either exhibition so this is based purely on the photos above.
L.M. Blackden

28 July 2015

All the designs are attractive. However the designers don't seem to realise that for 6 months of the year, it's a grim experience walking on a footbridge across the Thames. Wind, rain, darkness, isolation. How about an enclosed tube with muzak, heating, a carpet, a lounge with coffee or at least a wind screen along the middle?
A Hampson

26 July 2015

There is a stronger business case for rebuilding (widening) Battersea Br or replacing Albert Br (to accept buses) and to improve the flow of traffic. The money would be far better spent.
Paul Reardon

25 July 2015

I am totally agree with Annabel Moorsom. All the proposed bridges have a crazy design. They are all visually too heavy and I think that are absolutely not in harmony with the nearby architectures and urban characteristics. The bridge proposed by team 047, in particular, is the worst solution in my opinion. It fits well with an amusement park, certainly not with the elegancy of river Thames. It remembers me the Calatrava bridge in Venice. Too modern design, too heavy and totally out of place. An urban disaster. Do not let this happen in a wonderful city like London.
Federica Ongaro

24 July 2015

They're all unbelievably crazy and this planned bridge is a waste of money,being so close to Vauxhall Bridge, already accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. A large stretch of river in the borough where there are not crossings, is between Battersea Bridge and Wandsworth Bridge. There is however already a rail bridge there which should be adapted for pedestrians and cyclists and would give immediate access for North Battersea residents to Imperial Wharf Station (and on to tube access at West Brompton) and to the river boat, thus avoiding congestion at Clapham/Victoria/Waterloo. Bridge access would also benefit the businesses of North Battersea and improve the lives of local residents. Please think about it. It's logical and cheaper
Annabel Moorsom

24 July 2015

Team 025 with 'Robin Snell & Partners' after a closer look at the display earlier this week is most appealing to me. It is elegant, unobtrusive classic & timeless. It is architecturally impressive at the same time without being too overbearing. The tall vertical structures are in harmony with the tall vertical towers of nearby Battersea Power Station - both compliment each other. Importantly, its design is not overbearing on the river Thames. The gold decorative touches possibly need to be a little more subdued. Team 047 & Team 080 I feel are visually too heavy, a little clunky & 'Scalextric' like & overly dominate the majestic river Thames. Both don't harmonise as well as 025 with the surrounds along the banks of the river.
Gill Allen

24 July 2015

Design no.3 appeals to me the most. It makes the connection points of the bridge with the river bank very attractive.
paul birtwistle

24 July 2015

i like this design: Ove Arup & Partners Ltd (lead team) with Hopkins Architects and Grant Associates.
Allen Guly

24 July 2015