Pylon Design Competition Shortlist booklet


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The Pylon Design Competition shortlisted designs. An exhibition featuring models of the designs runs until the 5 October 2011 at the V&A museum, London.

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Pylon Design Competition Shortlist booklet

  1. 1. A showcase ofsix shortlisteddesigns
  2. 2. INTRODUCTIONShortlisted designs:Plexus SilhouetteAL_A Ian Ritchie Architects Jane Wernick Associates Architects, designers, There are more than 88,000Arup engineers and students pylons in the UK, includingT-Pylon Flower Tower of these disciplines have 22,000 on National Grid’s mainBystrup – Architecture, Design Gustafson Porter been challenged to rethink transmission network in England& Engineering Atelier One one of the most crucial but and Wales but the familiar PfistererY Pylon controversial features of steel lattice tower has barelyKnight Architects Totem modern Britain: the electricity changed since the 1920s. This New Town StudioRoughan & O’Donovan pylon. competition (run by the Royal Structure WorkshopESB International in Institute of British Architectsassociation with MEGA (RIBA) for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and National Grid) called for designs for a new generation of pylon; setting a challenge to design a pylon that has the potential to deliver for future generations, whilst balancing the needs of local communities and preserving the beauty of the countryside. PYLON DESIGN COMPETITION SHORTLIST
  3. 3. Team: AL_A Introduction Arup Materials: Steel or Composites PLEXUS Plexus creates a poetic dialogue between structure and landscape. Its shape responds to changes in topography, striding across the horizon in sequence with a lightness and grace. Although seemingly filigree in nature, these pylons have been designed for resilience, adapting to different site conditions by expansion and contraction of the arced form. The pylons fluctuate in size and profile, visibly mapping the terrain. What the judges liked: Tension and lightness are emphasized by this sophisticated design. Its design is very much of its time and the panel admired the grace of this visually dynamic proposal.PYLON DESIGN COMPETITION SHORTLIST
  4. 4. Team:Bystrup – Architecture, Design Introduction& EngineeringMaterials:Hot dip galvanized steel with apaint finish and as alternativesCor-Ten steel, stainless steel,and hot dip galvanized withoutpaint.T-PYLONThe T-pylon is designed as aslender and compact tower.The reduced visual impactmakes it fit well into differentsettings as a no-nonsense icon.The conductors are arrangedin a triangular configurationthat minimizes the extent ofthe circuits and the magneticfields. To adapt to the changingcharacter and colours of thelandscape as well as theaggressiveness of the localatmosphere the pylon is availableas painted, hot dip galvanized, inCorten or stainless steel. What the judges liked: This proposal postulates simple vertical and horizontal members. It has a classic appearance and elegance, yet its starting point is a pure engineering response.PYLON DESIGN COMPETITION SHORTLIST
  5. 5. Team: Knight Architects Introduction Roughan & O’Donovan ESB International in association with MEGA Materials: Carbon Steel Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Silicon Rubber Y PYLON The Y composition observes the geometric rules governing the safe spacing of conductive elements however a step change in design is achieved through the integration of modern insulating materials within the primary structure. The use of twin silicon rubber sheathed FRP arms allows significant reductions in overall tower height and in visual ‘clutter’. The result is a clean aesthetic which is distinctive, contemporary and elegant - an efficient new design for the 21st Century. What the judges liked: An extremely simple yet sophisticated idea, with a high degree of engineering innovation integrated into a coherent design.PYLON DESIGN COMPETITION SHORTLIST
  6. 6. What the judges liked:Team: This proposal is for the pylon as a sculpturalIan Ritchie Architects object within the landscape. The overall effectJane Wernick Associates and sophistication of the expression made this entry stand out aesthetically – particularly whenMaterials: considered in silhouette against the horizon.Base: Exposed concreteStructure: Mild Steel hot dipgalvanized and paintedExterior finish: Stainless CladSteel plate (2mm thick)SILHOUETTEProducing a dynamic silhouette,the pylon exaggerates its reachto the sky, sometimes appearingas a full black lance and othertimes as a thin sliver, like a singlebrushstroke on a canvas. Thepylon becomes an animatedcharacter in the landscape…part of a series or pattern…while the convex exterior skinreflects its surroundings. Thelandscape exists within the pylonas the pylon exists within thelandscape.PYLON DESIGN COMPETITION SHORTLIST
  7. 7. Team:Gustafson PorterAtelier One IntroductionPfistererMaterials:Painted Galvanised SteelFLOWER TOWERFlower Tower expresses thetransmission of energy throughforms associated with nature.In elevation, the Flower Towerreads like a bouquet of flowersor leaves. The bunching togetherof several ‘stems’ createsstructural stiffness at the base.These stems are tied together byconnecting plates and horizontalbridges which allow access tomaintain the cables. Arcs definedby the cable clearance swingsgenerate curving ‘leaves’, whichsplay out from the stem. Theearth wire is held by a spike or‘flower’ at the top of the tower. What the judges liked: The panel were impressed by the elegance of this submission which had been well developed into a contemporary, sculptural - yet technically inventive and feasible - option.PYLON DESIGN COMPETITION SHORTLIST
  8. 8. Team:New Town StudioStructure WorkshopMaterials:Tower: Steel PaintedArms: Electrically insulatingcomposite material, painted tomatch towerTOTEMThe existing lattice pylon isour inspiration. The deferenceto landscape and sky – lookthrough me, not at me. Thelightness, efficiency andingenuity. Could the latticebecome more open, moretransparent as it rose? Could theform be simpler, more modest, apost rather than the ‘bestriding’giant of Betjeman’s ‘InexpensiveProgress’? One can imaginethis pylon seen alone in a field,diaphanous and calm, or as awhirr seen from a fast movingtrain. What the judges liked: The panel enjoyed the simplicity yet sophistication of this idea. The decreasing density of structure as the pylon ascended to the sky was both logical and enjoyable, the whole effect was one of disappearance and permeability.PYLON DESIGN COMPETITION SHORTLIST