This year, you’d be hard pressed to find a more exciting, more captivating electrical pylon redesign contest than the Pylon Design Competition run by the UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change, the National Grid, and the Royal Institute of British Architects. Granted, that’s because there weren’t any other competitions to compete with this one, but that’s neither here nor there. What’s important is that a winner has now been crowned. The Copenhagen-based Bystrup has won for its T-Pylon, which looks as it sounds, in an uppercase T shape, but is reportedly up to two-thirds the height and weight of current electrical pylons. And while Bystrup is the big winner, the contest organizers plan to also continue working with two of the finalists, Ian Ritchie Associates and New Town Studio, in trying to incorporate a number of their designs (sadly, our pick, designed by Gustafson Porter with Atelier One and Pfisterer, isn’t included). Here’s a bit from National Grid director Nick Winser:
‘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.’