Chris Huhne unveils pylon design contest shortlist

Energy minister, Chris Huhne, unveiled six finalists in a competition to redesign one of the most iconic structures in energy management - the pylon.

More than 88,000 pylons cover the country, and while they divide opinion among many, the design has been largely unchanged since it was first unveiled in the 1920s.

Opening an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London today (September 14) to showcase six potential replacement designs Mr Huhne said his job to lead a judging panel to pick a winner would be ‘extremely tough.’

He told edie: “The idea that there is in anyway a trade-off between something that is beautiful and attractive and something that is prosperous seems to me to be fundamentally wrong.

“The reality is good design will always march hand-in-hand with things that are attractive to consumers.

“I hark back to what happened in the 1920s and 1930s when only a fifth of houses had electricity and engineers were involved in an enormous electrification process.

“I hope with the wave of new infrastructure we install over the next ten years we will be as successful in making it a cherished part of our heritage as our forebears were in the 1920s.”

PIC: Mr Huhne and the six final designs and designers

The six shortlisted designs are:

Silhouette by Ian Ritchie Architects and Jane Wernick Associates.

T-Pylon by Bystrup Architecture, Design and Engineering.

Y-Pylon by Knight Architects with Roughan & O’Donavon.

Flower Tower by Gustafson Porter with Atelier One and Pfisterer.

Plexus by Al-A with Arup.

Totem by New Town Studio with Structure Workshop.

However, while the winner will get a prize fund of £10,000 National Grid has so far only committed to ‘give consideration’ to developing the design.

A final decision is due to be made by the judging
panel towards the end of October.

Luke Walsh

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