Crossing must still win planning in face of fierce objections from north bank residents

Bystrup and Robin Snell are set to win the design competition for a new footbridge over the Thames at Pimlico.

The team was the unanimous choice of the jury, chaired by Graham Stirk of Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners.

The competition, for a pedestrian and cycle bridge between Pimlico and Nine Elms in Battersea, attracted 74 entries from around the world.

A shortlist of four was drawn up featuring Amanda Levete, Marks Barfield and Hopkins.

Wandsworth Council is now expected to name the Anglo-Danish Bystrup/Snell team as preferred bidder. It has earmarked £26 million towards construction from the Nine Elms development. Further funding options must now be identified while a detailed design is developed. 

People on the Pimlico side of the river claim to be almost unanimously against a crossing which they fear will bring 18,000 extra commuters a day into their residential area and damage one the few public spaces – a park where the bridge may land. They staged a noisy demonstration outside a Westminster council meeting earlier this month.

The bridge, which must be high enough for large boats to sail underneath, is said by its backers to be necessary to serve all the new development around the new US and Dutch embassies.

It would need planning permission from Wandsworth and Westminster councils and the mayor of London.

Graham Stirk said: “This was an extremely difficult choice between four excellent teams, but ultimately we felt that Bystrup and their partners had the most compelling approach to the challenges posed in our brief. Their strategy is elegant and simple, they aspire to celebrate the river and create a thing of real beauty which is what this bridge should be.

“Their light touch approach to landing points is commendable and the exploration of lighting and textured surfaces to manage movement across the bridge is both interesting and inventive. They see the bridge as a sustainable transport link and piece of new public realm which should be attractive, fun and a pleasure to use.”

Erik Bystrup said: “We are delighted to have this fantastic opportunity to design a new, modern piece of infrastructure for London. From the outset we wanted to design an elegant bridge that provided simple and uninhibited access for all, with minimal impact landings on each bank. We are very excited that this will be the first shared pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Thames, adding to the rich history of London’s river crossings.”

The competition is being run by Colander through Ojeu.