Shortlisted Entry 6

P205 Newtown Studio

Team: Architect: New Town Studio Engineer: Structure Workshop

The existing lattice pylon is our inspiration.  The deference to landscape and sky – look through me, not at me. The lightness, efficiency and ingenuity.  Could the lattice become more open, more transparent as it rose?  Could the form be simpler, more modest, a post rather than the ‘bestriding’ giant of Betjeman’s ‘Inexpensive Progress’? Could the pylon be calm seen alone in a field, a whirr sped past on a train?

TBay commented on 15-Sep-2011 11:32 AM
I am not aware of the technical challenges when designing these pylons, but is it not an obvious idea to tie in a form of renewable energy capture on these permanent structures? There is not one design incorporating a wind turbine or solar panels. If you
are going to blot the landscape, why not gain something from it too? The pylons might even eventually pay for themselves! Seems like an opportunity missed, to me.
Anonymous commented on 15-Sep-2011 12:02 PM
Looks good in the photo but I expect it would look much more obtrusive in the flesh
Frank Sole commented on 15-Sep-2011 01:37 PM
I really like this design but i do not think it is conventional it is too domineering and i imagine it would gather rubbish in the internal grid. this woul dbe costly to build and not very environmental! Imaginative design though.
Daniel Brett commented on 15-Sep-2011 02:21 PM
I like it, but the engineering required in the lattice work could make it far too costly - certainly costlier than extruding straight steel segments and bolting them together.
Anonymous commented on 15-Sep-2011 03:44 PM
The blurb says that the existing lattice pylon is the inspiration, and to my eye I can't seen how this is a significant improvement - it has the same visual impact without adding to the environment, and doesn't seem to move the design forward. Also, from
the image it seems that the conductors are mounted on cantilevered horizontal insulators - is this really a practical proposition given the weight of half a mile of conductor, hardware, ice loading, wind etc? As for access, I personally don't have an issue:
the HSE may disagree, but for me it has always been an issue of Darwinism - anyone stupid enough to climb a 400kV tower...
Anonymous commented on 15-Sep-2011 04:04 PM
Horrid horrid horrid
Stuart Rosewall commented on 15-Sep-2011 04:04 PM
Could the frame contain vertical wind generation blades so that it could generate electricity as well. Combining electricity transport with generation would, in my opinion, "kill two birds with one stone". It could also result in a dramatic visual affect
as the blades turn inside of the column - perhaps not unlike an old barber's shop sign. If not with this design, then perhaps one of the other designs could be adjusted to include some form of generation, or a newly considered pylon/generator could be designed.
I'd be interested to know what others think of this idea - being a layman, I don't know what the technical implications of combining to the two functions would be, but I think this would be good in terms of reducing the amount of hardware in the landscape.
Anonymous commented on 15-Sep-2011 04:59 PM
possibly my favourite, go for it!
Anonymous commented on 15-Sep-2011 05:14 PM
Looks like a hair straightener fused with a kite frame.
Mary Harburg commented on 15-Sep-2011 05:58 PM
Possibly the least intrusive, but artistic licence may give that impression. Others have mentioned ease of unauthorised climbing; but that leads to instant cremation - the idiot only does it once.
Mart commented on 15-Sep-2011 06:24 PM
This one has the potential to be the least obtrusive and possibly would use the least in raw materials... How about a vertical wind turbine inside each one adding its input ? Much better than those inefficient three blade type. Just needs a method for
keeping out intruders.
CD commented on 15-Sep-2011 06:56 PM
An impractical design with the grid going all the way to the ground but at least it could be maintained!
Dene Comish commented on 15-Sep-2011 07:57 PM
This is visually appealing, almost blends into the landscape. Lightweight materials, sturdy tubular design, strong, simple. The wind will blow right through them. Given that most pylons have razor wire round their bases, this will keep most people off
them, and you could alter design slightly at the base to take this into account.
Colin O’Donoghue commented on 15-Sep-2011 08:17 PM
I was the runner up to the six and this one annoys me most. Having seen the presentation, the module is supposed to seamlessly decrease in tubular circumference as it gets higher, which would mean it would need a massive number of different joining units
and would be a complete nonsense either to put into production, or put together on site. Imagine an Ikea wardrobe with every nut and bolt being slightly different. This one is absolutely impossible to make and it does make you wonder about the qualifications
of the selection committee. It’s easy for the public to climb. None of the winners addressed practical stuff like maintenance and cleaning of insulators. They all just tried to be pretty, maybe they want to be fashion designers because apart from the T Pylon
they are actually all impossibly expensive to build. None except the T Pylon will ever see the light of day, which means the Holy Grail of pylons has yet to be found, so I'm still looking. To be truthful I never expected to get anywhere, it was all just for
the fun of it, but now I’m hooked so keep a look out at.
Chris Snow newtownstudio commented on 16-Sep-2011 10:15 AM
Thank you all for your comments. For all teams the competition has progressed from concept idea to buildable, maintainable solution. How the idea turns to reality is crucial. Our design has gone from an idea about transparency and a link with the existing
pylon design. It has strived to not be a one-off sculpture, or be a letter of the alphabet, but be genuinely unobtrusive and without obvious symbolism that may soon date. The latest design can be seen at as a small comparison with the
existing pylon. Please do look. In terms of practicalities that are not shown or have moved on from the concept. - Climbing is prevented by a mesh floor, 3m up. The floor will project 1m beyond tower- like a canopy - do will be very difficult to climb past.
- Maintenance is through a hatch in this floor up a narrow pole equidistant (therefore very safely) between the two conductors. A mesh floor will happen at every arm so that workers can have safe platform on which to work from. - the structure is now completely
practical and uses similar technology as is used for the wembly arch. It is lighter than the existing pylon, the members are all standard 'scaffold' type poles with a common 'node'. It is now more open than the concept (which is nice!) - the arms are being
developed by a team at the university of Manchester. The national grid are field testing in the Highlands. Check - It works! I hope this text is not too long or boring in the tweeting age, but that it helps answer some questions. Feel
free to ask me more! Chris
Anonymous commented on 16-Sep-2011 11:35 AM
this is the worst
Anonymous commented on 16-Sep-2011 11:36 AM
This design is quite pretty but I think it looks like a piece of art and accordingly would become dated very soon. Is it really practical because it does look like it would be easy to climb.
Anthony Southey commented on 16-Sep-2011 11:49 AM
This design has a more organic feel, as a double-helix DNA structure, particularly if it were not white, but made of inert basalt fibre. Super strong, ultra slim, maintenance free and sustainable. Much the best principle. Pylons ought not to make a statement,
like the other designs do.
David commented on 16-Sep-2011 12:10 PM
I consider this to be just too open to being considered a climbing challenge to some. To surround the base with barbed wire or anticlimbing paint would be too ugly and/or too expensive to maintain. it is also a bit of a blot on the landscape IMHO.
GMAN commented on 16-Sep-2011 12:54 PM
By far and away the most original. No contest. Beautiful.
Nic commented on 16-Sep-2011 01:47 PM
I would have to say that the P82 - Flower Tower is the best looking design for the countyside...However, for towns and cities the P205 Lattice pylon would look better. The 'Y' tower makes me ask the question "Why Bother?" as it looks uglier and more imposing
that the existing types of pylons around today.
Anonymous commented on 16-Sep-2011 03:03 PM
la ritengo la proposta migliore dal punto di vista dell'inserimento paesaggistico, anche se rimangono alcune perplessità dal punto di vista funzionale per le operazioni di manutenzione
HRG commented on 16-Sep-2011 05:22 PM
Not really significantly different from the existing pylons in that it is a cylinder rather than a pyramid. The colour gives the impressin it is invisible but it would actually be more intrusive than the pylons we have now with blue sky or land of any
colour behind it which is the view that would be most prevalant unles all pylons are to be moved to the highest ground.
Anonymous commented on 16-Sep-2011 05:40 PM
The least visual impact out of all the shortlists. The best of a bad job, still nothing as good as existing pylons. It's change for change sake.
Andy Came commented on 18-Sep-2011 08:00 PM
Hair rollers. To be found in the house; not in the countryside.