A Pylon for the Future Finalists

A Pylon for the Future Finalists

A competition to find a new design for the British electricity pylon, launched by RIBA, DECC and National Grid, has been short listed to just six concepts, which are now on show at an exhibition.

Launched to coincide with the London Design Festival, the energy secretary opened the "A Pylon for the Future" display at the V&A in London.

Judges chose the finalists from 250 entries, who have been working with the National Grid to build scale models of their designs.

"Britain will see the equivalent of 20 new power stations constructed by 2020, and we need to transport this new, low carbon energy to our televisions and toasters, dishwashers and DVD players," Mr Huhne said.

"We must make sure that we take into account the visual impact on the landscape and also the view of the public, and this is what the Pylon Design Competition is all about. I think that people will be impressed by the quality of these designs and I hope everyone takes the time to get involved and give their view."

The winning team will be given a prize of £10,000 and their design could be picked up by the National Grid.

P12 Ian Ritchie Architects - Silhouette
Team: Ian Ritchie Architects, Jane Wernick Associates and Ann Christopher, Sculptor
Producing a dynamic silhouette, the pylon exaggerates its reach to the sky, sometimes appearing as a full black lance and other times as a thin sliver, like a single brushstroke on a canvas. The pylon becomes an animated character in the landscape... part of a series or pattern... while the convex exterior skin reflects its surroundings. The landscape exists within the pylon as the pylon exists within the landscape.

P33 Bystrup - The T-Pylon
Team: Bystrup - Architecture, Design & Engineering
The T-pylon is designed as a slender and compact tower. The reduced visual impact makes it fit well into different settings as a no-nonsense icon. The conductors are arranged in a triangular configuration that minimizes the extent of the circuits and the magnetic fields. To adapt to the changing character and colors of the landscape as well as the aggressiveness of the local atmosphere the pylon is available as painted, hot dip galvanized, in Corten or stainless steel.

P82 Gustafson Porter - Flower Tower
Team: Gustafson Porter with Atelier One and Pfisterer
Flower Tower expresses the transmission of energy through forms associated with nature. In elevation, the Flower Tower reads like a bouquet of flowers or leaves. The bunching together of several 'stems' creates structural stiffness at the base. These stems are tied together by connecting plates and horizontal bridges which allow access to maintain the cables. Arcs defined by the cable clearance swings generate curving 'leaves', which splay out from the stem. The earth wire is held by a spike or 'flower' at the top of the tower.

P113 AL_A Pylon
Team: AL_A & Arup
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.

P197 Knight Architects
Team: Knight Architects / Roughan & O'Donovan / ESB International in association with MEGA
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.

P205 Newtown Studio
Team: Architect: New Town Studio Engineer: Structure Workshop
The existing lattice pylon is our inspiration. The deference to landscape and sky - look through me, not at me. The lightness, efficiency and ingenuity. Could the lattice become more open, more transparent as it rose? Could the form be simpler, more modest, a post rather than the 'bestriding' giant of Betjeman's 'Inexpensive Progress'? Could the pylon be calm seen alone in a field, a whirr sped past on a train?