Involving up to 15 bridges – from Albert Bridge to Tower Bridge – and spanning 2.5 miles, the installation is designed to celebrate the spirit of the river and the communities that live alongside it. The American light artist Leo Villareal, who was previously in charge of lighting the San Francisco Bay Bridge, is leading the project alongside award-winning British architectural practice Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Using LED technology to highlight each bridge’s distinctive architectural and geographic features, Villareal's work will highlight how the running of the river unifies the city.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said: 'The Illuminated River will give London free art. The project also means that a wasted asset and resource will now be used. The team have thought through how the project is sustainable and how it will be energy efficient.' It is hoped that the project will rejuvenate the river and its bridges as a public space for Londoners.
Chair of the Board of Trustees, Neil Mendoza, said: “A tremendous amount of work has been done since the winning team of Leo Villareal and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands was announced almost two years ago. Much of that work has been undertaken in collaboration with organisations up and down the river, including one of the largest and most detailed planning processes London has seen. We are grateful for the contribution of all our partners and look forward to continuing our work together.”
So far only the first phase of the project has been lit up, comprising London, Canon Street, Southwark and Millennium Bridges, with the next group of bridges to follow in Autumn. A whole programme of Thames-centric events, from midnight mudlarking to after-dark tours looks to mark the launch of the project, and the lights will stay on until 2 am every night. The four bridges lit up so far have reduced their energy usage by 18%, proving they are more than just a pretty feature.
|What||The Illuminated River, Thames London|
01 Jul 19 – 31 Jul 19, Due July 2019, dates to be confirmed
|Website||Click here for more information|