Tim Norlund, a 23 year old architect from Denmark has beaten over 100 entries to gain first prize in the Sheffield Parkway footbridge competition. Norlund joined forces with Ramboll Whitby Bird, and together they will work with the client team (to be led by Rotherham Council) to take the scheme forward.
The new bridge will provide an important route over the A630 Sheffield Parkway, a busy dual carriageway which links the heart of Sheffield City Centre and parts of Rotherham, with the M1 motorway. It will also provide a vital safety route, since the existing route across the Parkway is noted as one of the top ten most dangerous crossings in the UK.
The judging panel, chaired by RIBA Adviser Nik Randall, of Space Craft Architects, included representatives from the promoters - Rotherham and Sheffield Councils, and Yorkshire Forward. The judges were looking for a design that would be a 'pleasure to cross, that responds to the local landscape, is deliverable and beautiful to look at'.
The competition produced an exceptional international response with entries from 14 different countries. The other four teams shortlisted to stage two were :
Arup Associates, London
DLG Architects, London
Satellite Architects, London with Elliott Wood Partnership
Tony Leung, Hong Kong with Ove Arup & Partners, Sheffield
Based upon a simple 'O' ring design, the winning design was considered to be both inspired and inspiring : the expression of the structural simplicity was particularly liked, it was felt that the immediacy with which the form of the 'O' ring will be understood will provide an orienting device in the landscape, appearing different from each approach. The clean lines and form of the support ring will provide an unexpected but appropriate intrusion into the undulating green landscape, whilst the simple 'line' of the walkways provides a counterpoint to the ragged canopy of the trees. The incorporation of simple and effective lighting will help it to respond to the climate, the season and local events.
Nik Randall said "The quality of the concepts by the shortlisted entries was, without exception very high. All the finalists exhibited unique characteristics, and each would ultimately have provided an elegant and memorable design. However, there can only be one winner, and it was felt the design by Tim Norlund/Ramboll Whitby Bird provides a wonderful response. It will be a simple and optimistic icon for the region and we have every confidence it will become a much loved local landmark".
On his win, Tim Norlund commented : "As a young architect at the beginning of my career, I'm very excited to get the opportunity to take this project further from a conceptual idea and all the way to completion. I'm looking forward to people using and enjoying the bridge, as much as I have enjoyed designing it".
The winning team will now work closely with Yorkshire Forward and Rotherham MBC to progress the winning concept. Images of all five shortlisted schemes can be viewed on www.architecture.com/competitions.