Winning Thames Bridges Light Installation Revealed

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 25 months ago

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Winning Thames Bridges Light Installation Revealed
A computer-generated image of The Illuminated River Overview. Image courtesy of Leo Villareal and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands

The winner of a competition to design light art installations for central Thames bridges has been announced.

Light artist Leo Villareal, who previously lit up the San Francisco Bay Bridge, will work with British architect firm Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands (the team responsible for London structures including the Hungerford footbridges) to create the Illuminated River installation in 2017.

Illuminated River will be the world's longest free, permanent outdoor river gallery, with light projections on 17 central London bridges.

Image: MRC and Leo Villareal and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: "We saw an incredible response to this fascinating competition, showing that London continues to inspire creatives from around the globe, and is open to all.

"There were some spectacular ideas, and I can't wait to see the winning design light up the Thames. Huge congratulations to Leo Villareal and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands on this fantastic achievement."

Royal Victoria Dock Bridge Photo: Chris Gascoigne

In case you're worried about another 'Garden Bridge scenario', The Illuminated River Foundation will raise the funds for the costs of the project from private sources rather than public funds. Initial funding of £100,000 was granted from the Greater London Authority, to support the process for the design competition, alongside funding of £250,000 from the Rothschild Foundation, and a contribution of £500,000 from the City of London Corporation towards the delivery of the first phase.

A shortlist of six designs was on display at Southbank Centre before the winner was announced. 105 teams from 20 countries around the world submitted designs. The winning design was one of the more subtle shortlisted entries, but we still reckon it'll look impressive.

Hungerford Bridge Photo: Tim James

Leo Villareal said: "Our aim is for a lighting masterplan which reduces pollution and wasted energy, is sensitive to history and ecology and subtly rebalances the ambient lighting on the river to provide a beautiful night time experience for residents and visitors."

You can find out more, and watch a video about the winning design, here.

Last Updated 08 December 2016