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National Highways announces gantry competition winner

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Organised by National Highways in conjunction with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the new gantry design competition winner has been unveiled.

The winning entry, created by Useful Studio was chosen by the judges for its elegance and simplicity, and how cohesive the design concept was across a range of different structures.

As well as a modern look, the winning entry uses less steel than existing designs, meaning less embodied carbon. The use of weathering steel rather than painted steel, means the gantries will have lower maintenance requirements, meaning fewer lane closures and delays for drivers.

Useful Studio will now work with National Highways to develop its design concept, with a view to it becoming the standard design for new roads and major upgrades from around two years’ time.

National Highways Executive Director for Operations Duncan Smith said: “This is a great opportunity for us to develop a more streamlined, elegant, and consistent visual appearance for roadside gantries to enhance drivers’ experience when driving on England’s motorways and major A-roads.

“Existing designs tend to emphasise function over form, our challenge is to create innovative structures that can accommodate the required signage and equipment that are more sympathetic to the environment. ”

Jonathan McDowell, RIBA Architect Adviser, added: “It is very encouraging that National Highways is actively engaging the design community in helping to improve the design of these ubiquitous but cumbersome parts of the motorway experience – we enjoyed seeing a wide range of creative and elegant proposals that took up the challenge.”

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