V Bridge

Nine Elms, London
Wandsworth Council

V Bridge was one of 86 entries to the Nine Elms to Pimlico pedestrian and cycle bridge competition. We were runners up.. But we are still cycling…

We enjoyed a stimulating collaboration with Chris Carroll of Arup, the custom frame builder Tom Donhou, the creative space agent Craig White, and Simon Mottram, the esteemed founder of Rapha, purveyors of the worlds finest cycling clothing. Pedestrian only bridges are not new to London, but a combined pedestrian and cycle bridge offers a new challenge… 

For this very special project – the V-Bridge – we set out to design a bridge like we would a bicycle: Strong, light, sparing of materials, pared back yet beautifully crafted, customised to fit each side of the river.  A little obvious, yet strangely not done before despite the correlations between bridges and bikes. 

We imagined that the anatomy of a bicycle could be subtly seen within the bridge – Top tube being comparable to the main span of 150m; Head tube and forks; seat tube and seat stay being comparable to the bracing (and landing) points on either side. The V’s of the V Bridge.

We designed the two landings differently to take account of the specific nature of both ends. The landing point to the north side of the river, located in our example Pimlico Gardens, intentionally respects an established park and magnificent mature trees with a light touch articulation of the stepped and ramped landing. The existing river edge walk would continue to flow under the landing. On the south side of the river, the landing integrated a glazed cafe and Rapha Cycle Club with a small open terrace at the very edge of the river and ample cycle parking. This we hope would be an ideal meeting point for pedestrians and cyclists alike. Again careful planning preserved the flow of the Thames Path.