Tintagel Castle: bridge design competition attracts one hundred and thirty-seven submissions

Top UK and international talent drawn to English Heritage’s spectacular project in Cornwall

© Malcolm Reading Consultants / Emily Whitfield-Wicks

The international architectural and engineering community has responded with great enthusiasm to the Tintagel Castle: Bridge Design Competition’s call for Expressions of Interest.

One hundred and thirty-seven submissions were received by the competition organisers, Malcolm Reading Consultants. While UK practices predominated, almost forty per cent of submissions were international. Design teams from 26 other countries, including the United States, Russia, India, Japan, South Africa and Chile, applied. Competitors include top-tier engineering and architectural bridge specialists.

The response exceeds that for other recent high-profile UK bridge projects with significantly larger budgets.

Kate Mavor, chief executive of English Heritage, said:

‘We’re delighted that the design community has responded so enthusiastically to this project. Tintagel Castle is undeniably one of the most spectacular sites in our care, a thrilling combination of the man-made and natural world. We’re really looking forward to seeing the shortlist.’

Malcolm Reading, architect and competition organiser, said:

‘Bridge design is a kinship of specialised engineers and highly creative architects, typically working in collaboration, and the Tintagel competition has intrigued designers worldwide. The evocative setting and compelling brief give this project an exceptional profile, and while it has attracted some brilliant specialists, we’re also pleased that newer studios are in the mix too.’

According to English Heritage’s brief, the winning design must be “elegant, structurally daring and beautiful in its own right, while being sensitively balanced with the landscape and exceptional surroundings.

The competition jury, chaired by Graham Morrison, founding partner of Allies and Morrison, will meet in August to draw up a shortlist of six teams.

One of the most spectacular historic sites within English Heritage’s care and inextricably linked to the legend of King Arthur, Tintagel Castle in north Cornwall has been prized throughout history for its elemental beauty and spirit of place. Today the remains of the 13th century settlement can be seen on both the mainland and jagged headland projecting into the sea, but Tintagel’s divided landscapes were once united by a narrow strip of land.