Architecture Update: Competitions for new Thames crossings

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The Independent Culture
THE BATTLE to improve the quality of Britain's often woeful modern bridge designs has taken a turn for the better. Now that the controversial East London River Crossing has been scrapped because of protest over the effects on Oxleas Wood, a new crossing will be the subject of a design competition - unlike its ill-fated predecessor. This could be one of two design competitions for new Thames bridges, as another has been mooted for a bridge to relieve the hopelessly congested Blackwall Tunnel.

These moves represent a victory for the Royal Fine Art Commission, which campaigned vigorously for the elegant bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava, the Spanish architect-engineer, that would have taken the East London River Crossing over the Thames in magnificent style but was considered too expensive by the Department of the Environment. The RFAC published its report on bridges last week, calling for design competitions.

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