Update 17/3: The four shortlisted designs have now been announced - scoll down to the bottom to see which made it through.
London, it seems, is about to get a new bridge. Not the Garden Bridge: since that'll be closed to cyclists, and barely open to pedestrians, we're not really counting that as a bridge. No, the new river crossing we're talking about is the one that'll connect the Nine Elms development with Pimlico across the Thames.
To select a design for the new bridge the council has held a competition. This, if the 74 renderings released on the competition's website today are anything to go by, aimed to select the most inspiring, most beautiful, and most totally batshit crazy design for a bridge it possibly could.
1. The one which is definitely not a bridge
Helpful tip for architects: you can't just draw squares on a photo and call it a design.
2. The one like a nightmarish Escher painting
Where does the floor end? Where do those stairs go? Why are the people so small? Why are the leaves transparent? Are those boys about to drown??
3. The one that's a spoon
A touching tribute to London's culinary culture. Also, apparently, a permanent rainbow.
4. The one that could water your lawn
It's the Millenium Bridge with sprinklers attached.
5. The one with all the fairylights
"How can we spice this up? Let's cover it in glittery lights, like the room of an 18-year-old university student on a budget."
6. The one inspired by Windows Media Player visualisations
We're pretty sure this is the intro to a mid-noughties Ed Sheeran song.
7. The one that's a circle
Because why cross the river directly when you could go on a 200m diversion? After all, it's the journey that counts, not the destination. Unless you're going to work, or home, or anywhere else vaguely important.
8. The dumbbell
We get it, it's so the cyclists don't have to carry their bikes down the stairs. But it just looks silly.
9. The one with the segregation
Cyclists and pedestrians, kept apart as they should be. There's something oddly touching about those people desperately trying to scale the wall, though.
10. The one that's a scribble
No idea. Literally, none.
11. The one with the... thing
What even is that? A lift? A furnace? We're hoping the bit on the right is a pedestrian catapult, and those tunnels are filled with cushions.
12. The one which will turn all of London to wood
A magic bridge.
...And a bonus one (definitely not necessitated by the fact that we can't count):
The one that takes you back to the 1800s
It's an ambitious project, certainly.
Upadate 17/3: The shortlisted designs, along with the designers in question, have now been announced. Sadly, all four look pretty normal compard to the designs listed above.
1. The one supported by a pair of chopsticks - Marks Barfield Architects
2. The one where it's too misty to see anything - Robin Snell & Partners
3. The one that's a long and winding road - AL_A
4. The one with the pretty bows - Hoskins Architects
The four winning teams will now further develop their proposals before resubmitting them for judging, and a winner should be announced in the autumn.
All images courtesy of the Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge competition.