Illuminated River – Summer Switch On

Illuminated River is a public art commission to light up to 15 bridges along the River Thames. Work is progressing on the first four bridges – London, Cannon Street, Southwark and Millennium Bridges – which will be illuminated in summer 2019.

Working upstream, the next group of bridges will be completed next year, with the project due to be finished by 2022.

Two years ago, the mayor announced that the team, led by artist Leo Villareal and London architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, had been successful in winning the international design competition to reframe the Thames at night and celebrate London’s historic links with its river.


A lot of work has been done since this announcement; surveying and inspecting the bridges, speaking to communities and stakeholders, securing planning approval, and understanding the logistical challenges behind installing the latest generation of LED technology onto the bridges to allow Leo to begin to ‘paint with light’ and realise his beautifully sequenced patterns for us all to enjoy.

Illuminated River creates a legacy for London in an artwork that will be in place for at least 10 years.


External Sources

Illuminated River website