Ian Ritchie Architects

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f EDF VHV Pylons

EDF V.H.V Pylons. Etching by Ian RitchieThe team of Ian Ritchie Architects, RFR and Kathryn Gustafson were invited in 1995 by Electricité de France to compete against 7 other teams in an international competition to design a new series of very high voltage pylons – 225kV and 400kV. Other competitors included Starck, Giugiaro, Wilmotte and Perrault.
The EDF awarded joint first prize to our team.
Our 400kV ‘f’ pylon design has since been developed and full size prototypes were successfully tested in 1998. The first group of the new series has been installed as part of the Tavel-Tricastin Line either side of the Rhône in Le Gard, south of France. Further pylons are likely to be installed during the first decades of the new millennium.
Our concept was developed upon a philosophical investigation into the contemporary meaning of progress. The design concept is based upon a single level configuration of the conductors, which reduces the height of pylons producing a horizontal and discreet expression. The design seeks to establish a clear spatial relationship between the lines and the topology over which it passes. To do this we have developed an adaptable family of pylons.  The pylon’s structural form is an ‘f‘, hinting at nature’s curved forms rather than an industrial aesthetic, and carries a three phase single circuit and is made of rolled steel plate. They are twinned to carry two circuits. The pylon column enters the ground with no detail. The EDF accepted our name for the ‘f’ pylon – fougère.
UK Design Council Millennium Product        1999

Books
1/2001 LOOKING BACK IN ENVY: 20TH CENTURY ART AND DESIGN REVISITED John Wiley and Sons
ISBN: ISBN-10: 0470842288, ISBN-13: 978-0470842287
Journal Articles
02/2000 THE GUARDIAN
01/2000 FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG
12/1999 THE TIMES
12/1999 ARCHITECTS' JOURNAL
11/1999 LE PARISIEN
06/1999 L'ARCHITECTURE D'AUJOURD'HUI
10/1998 NEW STATESMAN
07/1995 L'ARCA
05/1995 THE SUNDAY TIMES
04/1995 SUD OUEST
04/1995 NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR
04/1995 LIBERATION
04/1995 LE NOUVEL ECONOMISTE
04/1995 LE MONITEUR
04/1995 LE MONITEUR
04/1995 LE MERIDIONNAL
04/1995 LA CROIX
04/1995 ENERPRESS
04/1995 DESIGN CHRONIQUE
04/1995 D'A SPECIAL EXHIBITION ISSUE
04/1995 BLUEPRINT
03/1995 DESIGN WEEK
03/1995 BUILDING DESIGN
03/1995 ARCHITECTS' JOURNAL

f EDF VHV Pylons

Rhône in Le Gard, France

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f EDF VHV Pylons

France

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