Pylons – the final six!

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Some while ago I blogged about the amazing pylons that have been constructed around the World, and how a competition was to be held in the UK to find a successor to the iconic current electricity pylon that we are all used to.

architects and models

On 23 May the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and National Grid called for designs for a new generation of electricity pylon. A total of 250 submitted designs from around the world have been whittled down to just six finalists who have been working with the National Grid and Millennium Models to build scale models of their designs for the final judging panel.

Competitors were urged 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”.

my favourite

The reasoning behind the competition is that with a new generation of power stations due to come online in the coming decades, new transmission lines will be needed to carry this new energy to homes and businesses. These lines will connect new sources of power generation, such as wind farms and nuclear power plants. This more sophisticated approach to the visual impact of transmission lines reflects National Grids collaboration with the Government and builds on the recently-designated National Policy Statements (NPS). National Grid have said they will consider the visual impact of its new electricity lines with greater sensitivity to the British countryside. It should lead to greater focus on a range of mitigation measures such as undergrounding, re-routing, alternative pylon design.

so cool! But not to be!

Today the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have announced the shortlist – the final six designs which go into the final vote, and I have to say there are some great designs (and in my view some not so great ones!). My personal favorite has not made the cut, this would have been huge ‘people’ striding across the British countryside – fabulous in my view, but obviously not a view shared by the judges!

The shortlist of the top six is available to view on the DECC website and  scale models at the V&A Museum – and the public are asked to post their  comments.

The public has until October 5 to register their views – and then the panel  will meet to decide on the winner. If you have a view – vote. They will be around for a long time once they are erected!


5 thoughts on “Pylons – the final six!

    pylosaur said:
    September 15, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    I was delighted to be informed by RIBA that my Rebel-Relic Pylosaur pylon was the runner up to the six finalists. I was also at the presentation at the V&A. My vote goes to the T pylon, it is as minimal as can be, practical, half the price of a regular pylon and is the only pylon created by specialist pylon designers. They are Danish and great fun guys, they deserve to win. I was commissioned to design a clock for Lego so I love Denmark. The worst you can say is it’s dull but who cares, it’s a pylon not a diamond ring. However the T Pylon does lack maintenance gantries as do all the others so I guess any maintenance has to be done by crane or helicopter.

    I don’t think any of the others stand a chance of going into production on costs alone, in my view all are style over content and most seem to me to be incapable of mass-production, unless you want to risk going bankrupt trying. If you want a quick idea of what the brief was all about go to my site, it’s all there, easily explained and it is a fascinating brief.

    I’m not an architect but a product designer who has worked extensively with Disney, Warners, Hasbro and Mattel character merchandise and I hope it shows. Whatever else they are, Pylosaurs are the only killer pylons in the contest – check them out.

    Who knows what will actually be produced but pray that Pylosaurs aren’t unleashed to roam the Earth, they are far too dangerous and despite what you may think they actually encourage alien invasion. However they are as cheap as chips, assemble faster than an Ikea wardrobe without the need for a telescopic crane and are portable. You can’t buy them in B&Q yet but be warned, pet Pilosaurs are not just for Christmas.

      Simon Dare responded:
      September 16, 2011 at 10:58 am

      I was amazed by how many entries there were – congratulations on almost getting into the last 6!

    Adrian Burns (@adrianburns) said:
    September 15, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    We have the same favourite. I thought it was by far the most elegant solution to a currently very unelegant ‘problem’.

      Simon Dare responded:
      September 16, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Looks great – but probably hideously expensive to build – but even just a few scattered around would be fantastic!

    A lost opportunity? « Simon Dare's Blog said:
    October 17, 2011 at 8:55 am

    […] competition to choose a new design for the electricity pylons has now announced its winner, I blogged about it a few months ago and highlighted some of the amazing designs proposed. I particularly […]

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