Network Rail and RIBA Competitions are delighted to announce the winner and highly commended entry in the competition seeking new design ideas for footbridges. 

Entrants were set the challenge to design fully accessible footbridges that could be used across Britain’s rail network.  The competition was looking for ideas that were innovative, challenged presumptions and raised expectations for the quality of future design.

More than 120 entries were received from 19 countries.  The Evaluation Panel were extremely impressed by the high quality of the submitted entries, the breadth of the approaches and interesting ideas developed in response to the challenge.

The overall winner is:

Gottlieb Paludan Architects, DK  with Strasky, Husty and Partners Ltd, CZ

Their design idea presented a bridge with a more resolved design aesthetic, which most convincingly addressed the wide range of practical challenges whilst proposing a bold, elegant and uncluttered response that would create an uplifting experience to suit many contexts. 

The judges also decided to highly commended the entry by HawkinsBrown with WSP.  This design presented a strong strategic approach, proposing a modular ‘kit of parts’ that would enable a standardised bridge system to be adapted via the use of simple pre-fabricated, clip-on modular elements to different contexts and settings, with the footbridge being conceived as a social engine focussed on people and place. 

Anthony Dewar, head of buildings and architecture at Network Rail, said: “Footbridges can have a significant positive impact on their local environment and offer wider social and economic benefits. 

“As part of Network Rail’s commitment to make the railway more inclusive and fit for today’s needs through good design, the competition winner will be added to our new catalogue of improved station footbridge designs, and we are in discussions to agree how this idea can be fully realised.

“We have been overwhelmed by the response to this competition and would sincerely like to thank all the organisations, design professionals and students who entered.”

Evaluation Panel member Kay Hughes, Founder of Khaa, added:  “The entries for this competition highlight how design can improve people’s day-to-day travel experience, through pragmatic, beautiful and efficient solutions. It also demonstrates the appetite and ability of the design profession to improve national infrastructure.”

Transport Accessibility Minister Nusrat Ghani said:   “I was thrilled to see such a range of exciting and innovative designs submitted to this competition.

“We are committed to ensuring that our railways are accessible to everyone and this simply goes to show the appetite and ability of the design sector to help make this happen.

“I look forward to seeing how this project benefits people’s experience of using the transport network in the future.”

An exhibition of a selection of the entries submitted to the competition including the winning and highly commended designs will be held at the RIBA in February 2019.