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Winner of the Pylon Design Competition announced

Bystrup’s innovative T-Pylon design has been unanimously agreed by the judging panel as the winner of the Pylon Design Competition run by the…

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Model of the T-PylonBystrup’s innovative T-Pylon design has been unanimously agreed by the judging panel as the winner of the Pylon Design Competition run by the Department of Energy & Climate Change, National Grid, and the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Following a very high-quality field with 250 entries and six excellent finalists, which were featured at the London Design Festival, the judges were overwhelmed by the huge public interest in the competition.

As a result of this contest National Grid will now work with Bystrup to develop their T-Pylon design further. National Grid has also said it wants to do further work with Ian Ritchie Associates on their Silhouette design, and New Town Studio’s Totem design.

The winner will receive £5000 prize money and the five other finalists will each receive £1000.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP said:

“This is an innovative design which is simple, classical and practical. Its ingenious structure also means that it will be much shorter and smaller than existing pylons and therefore less intrusive.

“This competition has been a great success in bringing forward new and creative approaches to a pylon model which has not changed since the 1920s. We are going to need a lot more pylons over the next few years to connect new energy to our homes and businesses, and it is important that we do this is in the most beautiful way possible.”

Nick Winser, executive director, National Grid, said:

“In the T-Pylon we have a design that has the potential to be a real improvement on the steel lattice tower. It’s shorter, lighter and the simplicity of the design means it would fit into the landscape more easily. In addition, the design of the electrical components is genuinely innovative and exciting.

“However, the Totem and Silhouette designs are worthy of further consideration - both of them have strong visual appeal and characteristics that could work well in different landscapes.

“We are genuinely delighted at the prospect of working with all three companies to develop some real options for the future.”

Ruth Reed, RIBA Immediate Past President, said:

“The potential to reduce the size and height of pylons and consequently their impact on the landscape and the amount of materials in their construction, made this scheme a clear winner for me. The radical design of a single suspension arm carrying three conductors is simple and understated. Whilst there should still be the opportunity for statement designs where they are appropriate, this radical solution is a quantum leap forward for the design of the thousands of pylons needed in the years to come.”

The judging panel was made up of:

  • The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP - Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change
  • Nicholas Winser - executive director of National Grid
  • Sir Mark Jones - master of St Cross College Oxford and former director of the V&A
  • Sir Nicholas Grimshaw - architect
  • Bill Taylor - architect
  • Chris Wise - engineer
  • Jonathan Glancey - journalist
  • Andrew Grant - landscape architect
  • Jim Sutherland from Scottish Power
  • Ruth Reed - former president of RIBA

Notes for editors

  1. The Pylon Design competition was launched on 23 May and the six finalists were unveiled on the 14 September at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
  2. There are more than 88,000 pylons in the UK, including 22,000 on National Grid’s main transmission network in England and Wales. These stand some 50 metres high, weigh around 30 tonnes and carry up to 400,000 volts of electricity over thousands of kilometres of some of the most exposed, weather-beaten parts of Britain - but the familiar steel lattice tower has barely changed since the 1920s.
  3. More information about the competition
  4. For further information contact Jonathan Farr from DECC press office on 030 0068 5220 or 07768 555 750. If you would like to speak to the National Grid press office, call Chris Mostyn on 0207 004 3149.
  5. If you would like to speak to the winners, Bystrup Architecture, design & engineering, you can contact them using the following details:

Rasmus Jessing
Tel: +45 26 79 83 34
Tel: +45 39 27 00 85

Bystrup Architecture, design & engineering
Vermundsgade 40
2100 Copenhagen

Published 14 October 2011