Footbridge Design Ideas Competition winner announced

Network Rail and RIBA Competitions have announced the winner and highly commended entry in the Footbridge Design Ideas Competition.

Entrants were set the challenge to design fully accessible footbridges that could be used across Britain’s rail network.  The competition was looking for ideas that were innovative, challenged presumptions and raised expectations for the quality of future design.

More than 120 entries were received from 19 countries.  The Evaluation Panel was extremely impressed by the high quality of the submitted entries, the breadth of the approaches and interesting ideas developed in response to the challenge.


Gottlieb Paludan Architects A/S, Denmark, with Strasky, Husty and Partners Ltd, Czech Republic, were declared the winners for The Framing Bridge.

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The judges said: “The scheme presents a bridge with a well-resolved design aesthetic that most convincingly addresses the wide range of practical challenges whilst proposing a bold, elegant and uncluttered response that would create an uplifting experience for the range of users and be readily adaptable to suit many different contexts.”

Highly commended

Hawkins\Brown, UK, with WSP, were highly commended for their entry Modular Bridge of the Future.

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The judges noted: “The scheme presented a strong strategic approach, proposing a modular ‘kit of parts’ that would enable a standardised bridge system to be adapted via the use of simple pre-fabricated, clip-on modular elements to different contexts and settings ranging from the historic and rural to the large scale urban interchange, with the footbridge being conceived as a social engine focussed on people and place.”

Long List

A further eighteen schemes were long-listed, in addition to the Winning and Highly Commended design submissions:

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Network Rail and the adjudication panels were extremely impressed by the level of interest expressed in the project, the general high quality of the submission material and the breadth of approaches and interesting ideas developed in response to the challenges set by the competition brief. The design propositions included a strong set of themes for consideration and some provocative approaches, which in their different ways, challenged the means of providing safe and accessible passage across the railway.

Anthony Dewar, Network Rail.

Anthony Dewar, head of buildings and architecture at Network Rail, said: “Footbridges can have a significant positive impact on their local environment and offer wider social and economic benefits.

“As part of Network Rail’s commitment to make the railway more inclusive and fit for today’s needs through good design, the competition winner will be added to our new catalogue of improved station footbridge designs, and we are in discussions to agree how this idea can be fully realised.

“We have been overwhelmed by the response to this competition and would sincerely like to thank all the organisations, design professionals and students who entered.”

Kay Hughes, Khaa.

Evaluation Panel member Kay Hughes, Founder of Khaa, added: “The entries for this competition highlight how design can improve people’s day-to-day travel experience, through pragmatic, beautiful and efficient solutions.

“It also demonstrates the appetite and ability of the design profession to improve national infrastructure.”

Transport Accessibility Minister Nusrat Ghani said:   “I was thrilled to see such a range of exciting and innovative designs submitted to this competition.

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“We are committed to ensuring that our railways are accessible to everyone and this simply goes to show the appetite and ability of the design sector to help make this happen.

“I look forward to seeing how this project benefits people’s experience of using the transport network in the future.”

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