Network Rail Footbridge Design Ideas Competition


Winning design © Gottlieb Paludan Architects with Strasky, Husty and Partners



The U.K. is no stranger to pedestrian bridge competitions. Both the Salford Pedestrian Bridge competition (2013) and Tintagel Castle Pedestrian Bridge (2014) were commissioned by virtue of a request for qualifications and the shortlisting process. Both were administered by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and drew broad interest beyond the U.K.


The recent Network Rail Footbridge competition, although in the format of an ideas competition, drew 120 entries, mainly from European firms. The winner, Gottlieb Paludan Architects with Strasky, Husty and Partners, was a team from Denmark and the Czech Republic.


   Although just an ideas competition with no prospects for a commission, because the Network Rail people were so enthusiastic about the final outcome, a job could well be in the works for the winners.


Anthony Dewar, head of buildings and architecture at Network Rail, said:  


“Footbridges can have a significant positive impact on their local environment and offer wider social and economic benefits. As part of Network Rail’s commitment to make the railway more inclusive and fit for today’s needs through good design, the competition winner will be added to our new catalogue of improved station footbridge designs, and we are in discussions to agree how this idea can be fully realized.”




Gottlieb Paludan Architects

with Strasky, Husty and Partners Ltd

Denmark/Czech Republic


Images © Gottlieb Paludan Architects with Strasky, Husty and Partners


The scheme presented a bridge with a resolved design aesthetic, which most convincingly addressed the wide range of practical challenges whilst proposing a bold, elegant and uncluttered response that it was felt would create an uplifting experience to suit many different contexts.




Hawkins\Brown with WSP

London, U.K.



Images © Hawkins/Brown


The scheme presented a strong strategic approach, proposing a modular ‘kit of parts’ that would enable a standardised bridge system to be adapted via the use of simple pre-fabricated, clip-on modular elements to different contexts and settings ranging from the historic and rural to the large scale urban interchange, with the footbridge being conceived as a social engine focussed on people and place.