Softroom Architects with Eckersley O'Callaghan Structural Engineers have been selected to design a new footbridge over the Leeds-Liverpool Canal in Bootle, Merseyside for Sefton Borough Council. The new footbridge will form part of a wider regeneration of the area, which will also include a new housing development.
88 entries were received for this international open design competition which were assessed anonymously at the first stage. Six schemes were then selected to go through to the second stage of the competition and invited to attend an interview to discuss their schemes with the jury panel.
The Jury Panel consisted of representatives from Housing Market Renewal at Sefton Borough Council, Residents from the local housing estate, British Waterways and Renato Benedetti, McDowell & Benedetti who acted as the RIBA Adviser.
Lee Payne, Housing Market Renewal, Sefton Borough Council commented:
"Choosing the winning design was a very difficult task as all of the short listed designs were of the highest quality. However, after much deliberation we decided that Softroom should be chosen as the competition winner. Softroom have produced a wonderfully elegant design that works very well on what is a constricted site. The Housing Market Renewal programme is about transforming communities into sustainable and attractive places to live, work and visit. This new bridge will play a major part in making this happen."
Renato Benedett, RIBA Adviser said: "When judging, it's a pleasure to see a clear and worthy winner emerge. Although the presentations / interviews of each shortlisted team were impressive, the Softroom proposal (with Eckersley O'Callaghan engineers) stood out. Its strong elegant form, clever access ramps & stairs, sustainable economic timber structure and overall aesthetic ethos were the most appropriate and uplifting solution for the site and brief. It was the unanimous choice and I look forward to seeing it built."
Christopher Bagot, Softroom commented: "This bridge resolves the complex access requirements of a modern canal bridge within a simple overall form. In its use of timber as a construction material and its connection with the landscape on either side, it is hoped that this bridge will provide a well crafted model of sustainable development of this kind."
Softroom and their team will now work closely with the council to develop their scheme with a view to construction commencing on the new bridge later this year.
The shortlisted teams were:- Softroom with Eckersley O'Callaghan Strcutural Engineers, PT Projects Quantity Surveyors and DHA Lighting; Arca/Martin Stockley Associates; B&C Associati, Italy; Chris Curtis with Elliott Wood Engineers; Julian Hakes Associates with Alan Baxter Engineers and Youssef Ghali, Egypt.