First Four London Bridges lit up for the Thames Illuminated River Project

Owning to a latest design contest that focuses on illuminating the River Thames, London gears up on lightning its first bridges.

As part of the project 15 crossings over the River Thames will be lit up, in what is considered to be the longest public art commission in the world.

According to reports, the new lightning is connected with LED patterns. The picturesque scene is witnessed in London, Southwark, Cannon Street and on Millennium Bridges.  The project will last over 10 years.

Illuminated River will allegedly cover up to a total of 4.5 nautical miles (8.3km) of the Thames. The new lightning project has been designed to co-ordinate with London’s other bridges. As part of the project, the old lights will be replaced with new LEDs, these will switch off at 02:00 BST, a move observed to save energy consumption.

Owning to reports, Illuminated River is privately funded. The maintenance of the lightning will be sponsored through the Illuminated River Foundation charity. The only public funding for the project has been of £250,000 from the City Hall, issued for the initial part of the competition. The City of London Corporation will replace the light fittings on the London Bridge. It is expected that the next five bridges will be illuminated by autumn by 2020.

The design for the project was spearheaded by American light artist, Leo Villareal and British architect, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. “I’m hoping to follow in the footsteps of Monet, Turner and Whistler and reveal the truly unique, inspiring and poetic character of the Thames,” Villareal commented.

The designers allegedly took inspiration from Impressionist and English Romantic painters. Illuminated River “will transform a snake of darkness into a ribbon of light”, as quoted by Hannah Rothschild, one of the founding members of the project.