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River of Light: Illuminating London’s Bridges

The Illuminated River International Design Competition, run on behalf of the Illuminated River Foundation by Malcom Reading Consultants (MRC), is now exhibiting the six shortlisted proposals presented by six international teams to light central London’s bridges along the River Thames. The winner will be announced on Thursday, 8th December.

The Illuminated River International Design Competition, run on behalf of the Illuminated River Foundation by Malcom Reading Consultants (MRC), is now exhibiting the six shortlisted proposals presented by six international teams to light central London’s bridges along the River Thames. The winner will be announced on Thursday, 8th December.

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Its objective is to make London a real 24-hour city, allowing both Londoners and the nearly thirty million visitors drawn to London each year to enjoy the Thames at night, the city’s main artery that has always been vital for the development of business, activity and recreation. Light is a fascinating medium for public art. With the new low-consumption lighting technology, London now has the opportunity to creatively reclaim the river after dark, and highlight its importance as a world-class city and a centre for the creative industries.

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This is one of the most ambitious current public art initiatives in Europe and it intends to provide London with a new, free, permanent attraction to be enjoyed all day, all night and all year. From the 105 first-stage entries, six finalists were shortlisted and asked to produce concept designs for four individual bridges – Westminster, Waterloo, London and Chelsea – and a design masterplan for seventeen of London’s most celebrated bridges, those between Albert and Tower (including the proposed Nine Elms Bridge and Garden Bridge).

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The shortlisted proposals have been presented by six international teams, representing seventy-three artists and architects, designers, planners and engineers from all over the world.

Their proposals are:

Blurring Boundaries, designed by British firm Adjaye Associates with a diverse team of international artists.

The Eternal Story of the River Thames, by AL_A, a London-based practice formed in 2009 by Stirling Prize-winning architect Amanda Levete.

Synchronizing the City: Its Natural and Urban Rythms, created by a team led by Diller Scofidio and Renfro, an interdisciplinary design studio that integrates architecture, visual and performing arts based in New York.

Current, by Leo Villareal, American artists living in New York with vast experience in combining LED lights and encoded computer programming to create illuminated displays, with Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and Future\Pace.

A River Ain’t Too Much To Light, by Les Éclairagistes Associés (L.E.A.), a technical and engineering studio with ecqi ltd. And Federico Pietrella.

Thames Nocturne, by Sam Jacob Studio and Simon Heijdens.

They are now on display in a free exhibition running at the Royal Festival Hall (RFH) until Tuesday, 29th November, and also available to view online. You can share your views on the project via a survey at the exhibition here.

Visit the exhibition or go online at illuminatedriver.london to fill in an online survey and share your views. The exhibition is also available on the competition website.

THE ILLUMINATED RIVER EXHIBITION
9 – 29 November 2016
10am – 10pm daily
FREE

Royal Festival Hall
Level 3 and 4, Blue Side
Southbank Centre,
Belvedere Rd, Lambeth,
London SE1 8XX

Credits

All images copyright Malcolm Reading Consultants