Spence Associates, together with engineers Techniker Ltd, have won the competition to design a new vehicular and pedestrian crossing of the River Wear at Sunderland.
The first phase of the competition attracted Expressions of Interest from thirty-five (35) architectural / engineering-led consortia from across the UK, Europe, Israel, Scandinavia and the United States. The Spence/Techniker design proposal was chosen from a very strong shortlist that also included:
- Gifford & Partners Ltd / Wilkinson Eyre Architects
- Halcrow Group Ltd / Dissing+Weitling Arkitektfirma a.s. / Flint & Neill Partnership
- Hyder Consulting (UK) Ltd / Yee Associates
- Marks Barfield Architects / Jacobs Babtie / Leonhardt Andrae und Partner
- Schlaich Bergermann und Partner / Gehry Partners LLP / WS Atkins Consultants Ltd
The competition sought the best conceptual approach for an original, unique, inspirational and iconic structure. The bridge will be a major, circa £43 million pound structure which will form part of the wider Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor (SSTC) initiative. The bridge should act as an important gateway to the city centre, lead to urban regeneration and serve as a symbol of Sunderland moving forward in the 21st Century.
The six schemes were judged anonymously by a Jury Panel that consisted of representatives from Sunderland City Council, OneNorthEast, Sunderland arc, the TyneWear Partnership, together with advisers from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). The Jury Panel was extremely impressed by the quality of all the design proposals. The panel recognised that the Spence/Techniker design is a structurally challenging, complex scheme to deliver, but felt that its resolution would contribute significantly to the long-term future of the city. Sunderland City Council and Sunderland arc are looking forward to working with the team's designers to develop their challenging concept proposal.