RIBA launches competition for National Highways initiative to make road signage more “elegant” Architects are being sought to design a new generation of motorway gantries which are more “streamlined and elegant” than the road network’s current signage. RIBA has launched a competition on behalf of National Highways as part of an initiative to improve the experience of the four million drivers which use England’s busiest roads each day. RIBA has launched a competition to design a new generation of motorway gantries The winner, expected to be announced early in the new year, will develop the standard design for new roads and major upgrades from around two years’ time. RIBA architect advisor Jonathan McDowell said National Highways wanted to “improve the design of these ubiquitous but cumbersome parts of the motorway experience”. The competition, which launched last week and will run for eight weeks, is open to all architects and architect led teams. National Highways have set out 10 design principles, including that proposals should eliminate clutter, be environmentally sustainable and be sensitive to the landscape, heritage and the local community. “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,” National Highways chief highways engineer Mike Wilson said. “The competition opens up the opportunity 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,” he said. The deadline for submissions is midday on 24 January 2023.