Design competition launched for light installations to illuminate London's bridges

by Tom Anstey | 10 Jun 2016

The Rothschild Foundation has backed an international design competition to create a £20m (US$29.2m, €25.7m) light installation on the 17 central London bridges crossing the River Thames.

Chaired by Lord Rothschild, The Rothschild Foundation gives grants to a variety of charitable initiatives, also supporting artistic and cultural ventures across the UK.

With the foundation’s backing, the Illuminated River contest is searching for ‘elegant and charismatic’ proposals to transform the Thames at night and draw extra visitors wanting to catch a glimpse of the illuminated installations.

Planned to be developed in phases between 2018 and 2020, the project will transform every crossing between Albert Bridge in Chelsea and Tower Bridge in the centre of London.

The competition, organised by Malcolm Reading, is open to teams of architects, artists, designers and engineers.

"Even by London’s standards, this project is unprecedented in boldness and imagination: the opportunity to influence and transform the look, identity and experience of the world’s greatest city,” said Hannah Rothschild, chair of the Illuminated River Foundation.

“What matters is bold and innovative thinking to put the art back into London’s greatest artery.”

Up to five teams will be shortlisted this summer, with conceptual drawings of the Westminster, Waterloo, London and Chelsea bridges, in addition to a masterplan for the entire river stretch.

The selected team will be chosen in December. Panel judges include Jacob Rothschild, LSE urban studies professor Ricky Burdett and City Hall head of culture Ralph Rugoff. The application deadline is 7 July.

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The Rothschild Foundation has backed an international design competition to create a £20m (US$29.2m, €25.7m) light installation on the 17 central London bridges crossing the River Thames. Chaired by Lord Rothschild, The Rothschild Foundation gives grants to a variety of charitable initiatives, also supporting artistic and cultural ventures across the UK. With the foundation’s backing, the Illuminated River contest is searching for ‘elegant and charismatic’ proposals to transform the Thames
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The project will illuminate 17 central London bridges crossing the Thames / Shutterstock.com
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