American light artist Leo Villareal who was acclaimed with the illumination project of San Francisco Bay Bridge and London-based architectural firm Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands won The Lighting Competition of London Bridges which is the contest of many bridge lighting designs for bridges over the River Thames in London.
The Lighting Competition of London Bridges organized by Malcolm Reading Consultants, the competition saw submissions from 105 teams in 20 countries. Each six shortlisted teams received an honorarium of £15,000 for the concept design for Westminster, Waterloo, London and Chelsea bridges and a masterplan for the entire project. The concepts works were exhibited at the Royal Festival Hall last month and were seen by more than 10,000 people. Contest jurors included Jacob Rothschild, president of the Rothschild, Hannah Rothschild, president of The Illuminated River Foundation, Ricky Burdett, professor of LSE research, artist Michael Craig-Martin, co-director of former Serpentine Galleries Julia Peyton-Jones and City Hall Culture Director Ralph Rugoff.
The projects will come entirely from private and philanthropic sources. The Illuminated River Foundation charity set up to fundraise for the project has already been pledged donations of £10 million from the Rothschild Foundation and the Arcadia Fund. Sadiq Khan, London mayor, stated: “We saw an incredible response to this fascinating competition, showing that London continues to inspire creatives from around the globe, and is open to all. There were some spectacular ideas, and I can’t wait to see the winning design light up the Thames. Huge congratulations to Leo Villareal and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands on this fantastic achievement.”
The Illuminated River Foundation chair Hannah Rothschild added “Their scheme is beautiful, ambitious and realisable but always considerate to the environment, lighting levels and energy conservation.”
“In order to nuance the concept design and create presence and legibility, we intend to take time to study the river in all its manifestations. We want to listen to Londoners in developing the scheme to deliver at all levels of art and light, urban design and architecture, the environment and sustainability” said Leo Villareal and added “Our aim is for a lighting masterplan which reduces pollution and wasted energy, is sensitive to history and ecology and subtly rebalances the ambient lighting on the river to provide a beautiful night-time experience for residents and visitors.”
The projects are planned to be built in 2017.