Pylon Design Competition


Bystrup’s innovative T-Pylon design has been unanimously agreed by the judging panel as the winner of the Pylon Design competition run by the Department of Energy & Climate Change, National Grid, and the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Following a very high quality field with 250 entries and 6 excellent finalists, which were featured at the London Design Festival, the judges were overwhelmed by the huge public interest in the competition.

As a result of this contest National Grid will now work with Bystrup to develop their T-Pylon design further. National Grid have also said they want to do further work with Ian Ritchie Associates on their Silhouette design, and New Town Studio’s Totem design.

View entries...


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.

Category Idea Competition / Competition Result / Open to Students
Type International, Idea, Open, Two-Stage, Anonymous
Genre Civil-Engineering
Country UK
Registration Deadline 5 July 2011 GoogleCal iCal
Submission Deadline 12 July 2011 (Must be Received) GoogleCal
Eligibility architects, engineers, designers and university level students

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.

Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Bill Taylor, Architect and RIBA Adviser
Nick Winser, Executive Director UK, National Grid
Ruth Reed, President RIBA
Sir Mark Jones, Director V&A Museum
Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, Partner, Grimshaw Architects
Chris Wise, Director, Expedition Engineering
Jim Sutherland, Network Development Director, ScottishPower – Energy Networks
Jonathan Glancey, Architecture and Design Correspondent, The Guardian

There is a total prize fund of £10,000 (+ VAT). The author of the scheme placed first will receive £5,000. The remaining funds will be distributed amongst the stage two finalists.
National Grid will arrange and pay for the final designs to be modelled up to a maximum of £5,000 per shortlisted design.

Entry Fee
Professionals: £50.00 (plus VAT)
Students: £15.00 (plus VAT)

A single A1 lightweight board, etc.

Submission Address
RIBA Pylon Competition
RIBA Competitions
5th Floor, The Studio
32 The Calls

Shortlisted designers notified: w/c 25th July 2011
Submission of stage two designs: w/c 5th September 2011
Final judging & Winner announced: w/c 10th October 2011

Department of Energy & Climate Change and National Grid

Official Website