Artists, film makers and playwrights join built-environment professionals in devising creative proposals

AL_A's shortlisted entry 'The Eternal Story of the River Thames' © Malcolm Reading Consultants and AL_A

A shortlist of six international teams has been announced to design a series of illuminations for central London’s bridges.

The Illuminated River design competition attracted 105 cross-disciplinary teams, including architects, engineers, lighting designers and landscape architects as well as playwrights, film makers and sound designers.

Edinburgh-based landscape architect Gross.Max is part of a team led by Amanda Levete’s AL_A architectural practice telling ‘The Eternal Story of the River Thames’. Lighting designs for London, Waterloo, Westminster and Chelsea bridges respond to the tidal nature of the river, presenting it as ‘a breathing, pulsing organism’.

Also on the shortlist, environmental design consultant Atelier Ten is part of a team led by artist Leo Villareal with architect Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and curator Future\Pace. Their project entitled ‘Current’ uses coloured light to create different moods for each bridge.

Other shortlisted proposals are: ‘Blurring Boundaries’ by Adjaye Associates, working with a string of international artists to adorn individual bridges and introducing a series of riverside pavilions; Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s ‘Synchronizing the City: Its Natural and Urban Rhythms’, which shoots beams of light up into the night sky; Les Éclairagistes Associés ‘A River Ain’t Too Much Too Light’, which plants lampposts in the Thames; and architect Sam Jacob Studio and site-specific installation artist Simon Heijdens’ ‘Nocturne’, a ribbon of light from Chelsea to Wapping that would to live data from the river.

All shortlisted schemes are on show at London’s Royal Festival Hall until 29 November, and can be seen online here

The winning scheme will be announced on 8 December, with the first phase implemented in 2018.


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