In a few months time, five more bridges will join the four already completed in being specially floodlit as part of a large public art installation.
Blackfriars, Waterloo, Golden Jubilee, Westminster and Lambeth Bridges will be illuminated by New York-based artist Leo Villareal’s display of slowly moving light sequences, joining the four bridges already lit in 2019.
The first four Illuminated River bridges – London, Cannon Street, Southwark and Millennium – made their debut in 2019 and now provide a lighting display every evening from dusk until 2am.
At 3.2 miles long, when all nine bridges are lit, it’s expected to be the longest work of art in the world.
A combination of rosy colours will extend across the arches of Blackfriars Road Bridge. Waterloo Bridge, the longest bridge in central London, will be enhanced by a simple line of light, introducing pastel washes of colour to illuminate its central spine. Across the Golden Jubilee Footbridges, a monochromatic scheme will complement the walkways designed by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands in 2002, mirroring Villareal’s approach to the other pedestrian bridge in the artwork – Millennium (illuminated July 2019).
Westminster Bridge’s latticework undercrofts will be illuminated in green tones referencing the benches of the debating chamber of the House of Commons. Similarly, the red glow to adorn Lambeth Bridge is a nod to the benches of the House of Lords’ chamber and mirrors the red accents of the bridge’s railings and arches
To mark the completion of this stage of the project, a public engagement programme for the rest of 2021 will be launched by the Illuminated River Foundation, creating new evening activities for different audiences (in line with potential covid restrictions).