Colourful Illuminations Will Light Up London’s Bridges From Summer 2019

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The Illuminated River project is slated to begin in 2019.

I think we can all agree that 2016 was a pretty dark year. However, out of that darkness came a ray of light – quite literally, it turns out. The Mayor of London launched an international design competition to illuminate the bridges of the Thames, and bring a little more colour to those dark London nights. American artist Leo Villareal and British architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands (LDS) won the right to light the night, and it’s been announced that work on the Illuminated River project will commence in January – meaning the lights will be in place as early as summer 2019.

[Illuminated River]
It’s exciting news, especially given the pedigree of the people involved. Villareal brought his talents to the San Francisco Bay Bridge (not the Golden Gate bridge) and LDS are renowned for their work on the South Bank. The lighting of the bridges will happen in phases, with the first one launching this summer, the second arriving in 2020, and the final phase will hopefully be completed by 2022.

Illuminated River
Artist’s impression of London Bridge – a continuous stream of movement and colour. Photo: @illuminatedriver

Getting the Illuminated River treatment in Phase One are London Bridge, Southwark Bridge, Millennium Bridge, and Cannon Street Bridge. Fundraising continues for the next phases, and when Illuminated River is finished, every river crossing between Albert Bridge and Tower Bridge will be awash in colour. They’ll certainly give London’s Christmas lights a run for their money, that’s for sure!

You can find out more about the Illuminated River project on their website.

Alex Landon

Alex Landon

Although Alex spent most of his life in Somerset and Durham, London is (almost) in his name, so he relocated to the capital and fell in love with it. Now going by the moniker 'Secret Landon', you'll find him eating all of London's street food, lost in a bookshop, or shouting at his beloved ice hockey team, the Minnesota Wild.