The UK has an ambitious target to meet to ensure an 80% cut in carbon emissions by 2050. This means substantial change in our energy infrastructure and as we move away from our reliance on fossil fuels, electricity will become an even greater part of our energy mix.
The electricity pylon is an iconic image of how electricity has changed our lives, and our landscape. It divides opinion and stirs emotion. The steel lattice design familiar across Britain has barely changed in 75 years. And across the world, the vast majority of electricity pylons are of similar construction, although in different shapes and sizes.
But how and why has the lattice pylon stood the test of time? And as technology, material and design evolve, what impact might they have on the pylon of the future?
This new RIBA Competition invites architects, engineers, designers and university level students of these disciplines to come up with proposals for a new generation of electricity pylon. As well as exploring the design of the ‘object’, this competition also seeks to explore the relationship between our energy infrastructure and the environment within which it needs to be located. The challenge is to design a pylon that has the potential to deliver for future generations, whilst balancing the needs of our communities and preserving the beauty of our countryside.
The competition is being organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Competitions on behalf of the Department of Energy & Climate Change and National Grid.
A key element to this competition will be a public consultation exercise which will provide members of the public with a chance to comment on, and to see and exchange views on the best designs, via this interactive website.
Our panel of experts drawn from the architecture, design and engineering worlds, together with leaders from the energy industry will judge the final winner. The panel of judges will be chaired by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne.