Thames bridges set for extraordinary transformation

London’s relationship with its waterfront is changing, with several large-scale public realm projects planned along the central stretch of the river. The most creative and visually exciting will be the major light art installations for 17 of London’s bridges that will begin in 2018, following the 2016 Illuminated River International Design Competition. The competition’s unique design challenge was to ‘create an elegant and charismatic light art installation or world-class quality for London’s most celebrated bridges.’, and was won by the team formed of light artist Leo Villareal, urban planners Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, and curators Future/Pace. The Thames is an integral part of London but at night it disappears into the darkness; thanks to new green technology the main road, rail and pedestrian bridges between Albert and Tower will become both a stunning and innovative focal point for the 30m visitors London attracts each year. The project has a lifespan of 25 years and will be able to be viewed 365 days a year, all for free. This kind of attraction will no doubt bring even more attention to developing areas on the river such as Aldwych and London Bridge.