Hong Kong


The Oval Partnership Architecture Ltd is the London studio of an international group of architects, urbanists, designers and researchers.

A member of theOctagonpartnership

©The Oval Partnership Architecture Ltd

Project Cat's Cradle Pylon
Brief International competition entry to redesign the electricity pylon #1
Location United Kingdom
Design Team Oval Partnership, TS Architects and Milk Structures
In an attempt to emulate the low-tech, carbon neutral appeal of the traditional timber telegraph pole (with it's familiar creosote smell, lost cat notices and bird boxes) we explored numerous options for timber lattice and woven organic structures but could not compete with the cost-efficient model established by the galvanized steel original. 

We then hit upon the idea of breaking the pylon down into a single supporting composite 'wand' for each cable: a ‘bunch of sticks’ that is extremely stable and highly adaptable to varying terrain with a minimum number of standard elements.

Using a simple spatial algorithm to ensure the cables remain at the correct distances from each other, cables can criss cross between pylons providing additional horizontal bracing. This can be used to produce seemingly random patterns like the threads of a cat’s cradle that appear more natural than the ordered geometry of traditional pylons which are often visually uncomfortable when viewed obliquely or against a backdrop of trees.