Created by acclaimed American artist Leo Villareal and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands (LDS), Illuminated River will light up up-to 15 central London bridges, from Albert Bridge in West London to Tower Bridge in the City, unifying them in a single artwork and defining them as a sculptural and symbolic link across the capital.
With the architecture of London's bridges playing a key role in the historic and industrial heritage of the city, Illuminated River will celebrate the central role the Thames' bridges play in connecting communities on the north and south sides of the river. It will celebrate the unique character and architecture of these great landmarks and define them as renewed civic spaces in the city.
This major art and architectural commission will enhance the public realm at night and create new opportunities for the enjoyment and exploration of the riverbanks. The first four bridges - London, Cannon Street, Southwark and Millennium - will be lit up in Summer 2019. When complete, this will become the longest public art installation in the world.
The scheme has been developed in consultation and collaboration with over 50 organisations on and around the river, including the Port of London Authority, Historic England, Cross River Partnership, seven local authorities (City of London, Tower Hamlets, Westminster, Southwark, RBKC, Lambeth, Wandsworth) from whom 29 planning permissions and 18 listed building consents have been granted.
The collaborative pairing of Liftschutz Davidson Sandilands and Leo Villareal is a testament to the magnitude of the project. LDS's established reputation for innovative design and the creative adaptation of iconic London buildings has enabled them to bring Villareal's artistic vision to life.
Images: Leo Villareal Studio