Tintagel Bridge Castle Competition


©William Matthews Associates; courtesy MRC


Out-of-the-way places can be serious destinations, especially when they embody an object of historical significance. The medieval Tintagel Castle site is certainly one of these examples, attracting scores of visitors every year. Although only now a ruin, its history, linked to the tales of King Arthur, is certainly the tale which can be of interest to any serious English history buff. But getting to the crest of the hill cliff where it is located is only something for the hardy. The problem has been the steep ascent to the site, which could only be reached via a circuitous winding pathway. To address this issue, a new bridge in a more advantageous location was proposed to replace an existing, somewhat rickety span.
   Organized by Malcolm Reading Consultants, this competition’s call for expressions of interest drew 137 responses, with six firms being shortlisted for the design competition phase. At the conclusion of the adjudication process, the jury announced the team of Ney & Partners with William Matthews Associates as winners. The other finalists, without ranking, were:

  • Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes with Terrell
  • Marks Barfield Architects with Flint and Neill J&L Gibbons LLP and Mola
  • Niall McLaughlin Architects with Price and Myers
  • RFR and Jean-Francois Blassel Architecte with Engineershrw and WSP
  • WilkinsonEyre with Atelier One

With two exceptions, the finalists seemed to settle on a similar visual appearance of the bridge. So the jury was obviously dependent on a lot of engineering input to come to a final decision. There must have been a lot of scrambling to include high-profile engineering firms on the teams by the lead firms. Just the inclusion of some engineering experts with solid reputations could serve to alleviate any doubts that the clients might have about the feasibility of the design.
By solving the access problem to the castle, Tintagel Castle will undoubtedly continue to be one of the great tourist attractions in the U.K. And the bridge will certainly add to the visitor experience.



Winning Entry
Ney & Partners (structural engineers)
Brussels, Belgium
with William Matthews Associates (architects)
London, U.K.

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Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes
Montreuil, France
with Terrell Engineering
London, U.K.




Marks Barfield Architects
London, U.K.
with Flint and Neill (Engineers)
J&L Gibbons LLP and Mola

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Niall McLaughlin Architects
London, U.K.
with Price and Myers (Engineering)
London, U.K.

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RFR Jean-Francois Blassel Architecte
Paris, France
with Engineers HRW and WSP
London, U.K./USA

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London, U.K.
with Atelier One (Engineering)
London, U.K.

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