Illuminated River: First four bridges revealed

The first phase of the Illuminated River has been launched with London, Cannon Street, Southwark and Millennium Bridges now lit in unison. Sequenced LED patterns subtly play across each bridge’s unique structure.

Illuminated River

A common theme through all of Atelier Ten’s work is how to do more with less. Integral to our work on the Illuminated River, even from the very beginning of the competition stages, was our consideration for the environment in and around the River Thames. At the start of the project our lighting designers carried out an innovative and extensive luminance survey from Albert Bridge all the way to Tower Bridge – the first survey on this scale and of this context. We used the survey results to develop target light levels for each bridge that are sensitive and in keeping with its surroundings.

Living and working in London for so many years, being part of the team relighting the bridges has been an enjoyable challenge. We are recalibrating them to sit sensitively in their urban environment and among the numerous landmarks along the Thames.

– Jonathan Gittins

Our role from the outset has been to design the lighting and infrastructure required to deliver Leo Villareal’s artistic concept in the most sensitive way. A critical element of this has been to design custom baffles and louvres that when fitted to the luminaires carefully focus light only where it is needed to control light spill onto the water. All the months of detail design, culminating in long nights for our lighting designers as they aimed each and every light fitting and baffle has certainly been worth it. Atelier Ten have helped realise Leo’s impressive and ambitious design with only minimal energy use.

Throughout 2019, there will be a series of events for the public to take part in and engage with the relit bridges. Events include music composed for the Illuminated River, open-air concerts, walking tours and regular boat tours. For more information on the public engagement program, please visit the Illuminated River website.