Ideas competition launched to design an inhabited London Bridge

The RIBA has launched an ideas competition to redesign London Bridge as an inhabited bridge to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the original crossing's construction.

The competition, organised by the RIBA on behalf of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects, seeks designers to imagine a new version of the inhabited bridge, first built in the UK capital in 1209.

Architects must design a “living” superstructure for the present London Bridge, imagining that it has the structural capability to carry buildings on its deck.

London's bridges
Credit: Tavallai
A view of some of the capital's bridges

An ideas competition to design a living bridge is far from a new idea. The Royal Academy invited firms such as Zaha Hadid and Antoine Grumbach to design conceptual inhabited bridges for an exhibition as long ago as 1996.

The idea reared its head again recently when it was reported that the mayor of London was seeking to build a living bridge based on Grumbach's concept between Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges.

Architects and architectural students have until 25 June to submit entries to the competition before a winner is revealed on 11 July.