Make it beautiful, but not iconic: Moxon’s challenging brief to design HS2 viaducts in Buckinghamshire

Edgcote Viaduct (updated view 4)

The London-based practice has built its reputation on bridge design. But it has never before worked at this scale and level of scrutiny. Daniel Gayne found out how they tackled the job.

You do not have to travel far in Great Britain to find a great bridge. From the grand Victorian viaducts that litter the North of England to iconic structures like Bristol’s Clifton Suspension bridge, the UK has shown a certain pride in its civic infrastructure. Even smaller structures like Durham’s Kingsgate footbridge, Arup Ove’s last hurrah, are as marvellous as spectacle as they are as feats of engineering. 

But in today’s world, where it is difficult enough to get new homes built without NIMBYish complaint let alone enormous infrastructure projects, designers of such structures face a different challenge – how to make a thousand tonne mass of concrete and metal fit effortlessly into the rolling green pastures of the British countryside. 

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