« A new competition has today been launched, run by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and National Grid, that calls for designs for a new generation of pylon. Pylon Design Competition challenges architects, designers, engineers and students of these disciplines to rethink one of the most crucial but controversial features of modern Britain.
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.
As well as exploring the design of the pylon itself, the competition aims to explore the relationship between energy infrastructure and the environment within which it needs to be located. The challenge is 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.
« Design has never been far from our energy network. The current pylon design was chosen by Sir Reginald Blomfield, a leading architect of his day back in 1927, but the familiar steel lattice tower design has barely changed since then, » said Ruth Reed, President of the Royal Institute of British Architects. »
Deadline for registration: 5th of July 2011.