Competition launched to redesign electricity pylons

The Royal Institute of British Architects, the National Grid and the Department of Energy and Climate Change are launching a competition to design the electricity pylon of the future.

Architects, designers and engineers are being invited to submit a new pylon design that ‘has the potential to deliver for future generations, while balancing the needs of local communities and preserving the beauty of the countryside’, according to organisers.

The judging panel includes Nick Winser, National Grid’s UK executive director; Victoria & Albert Museum director Sir Mark Jones; architects Sir Nicholas Grimshaw and Bill Taylor; engineer Chris Wise; journalist Jonathan Glancey and a senior representative from the RIBA, and will be chaired by Chris Huhne, Energy and Climate Change Secretary.

The winners will share a £10 000 prize.

Winser says, ‘The pylon as we know it has served the nation well, but new technologies and materials mean there may now be opportunities for new designs. We will give serious consideration to developing the winning design for use in future projects.’

Entry closes on 12 July, with shortlisted candidates notified at the end of July. Final designs will be submitted in September, and will be on display to the public online and in an exhibition at the V&A. The final winner will be decided in October.

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