The Illuminated River project is going to be the longest public art commission in the world and FM Conway has secured the contract for the first phase of the project, which once completed will span about 4.5 nautical miles of the River Thames.
According to FM Conway, leading Infrastructure Company, the artwork will gradually unfold compositions of sequenced light patterns across the bridge structures, using vivid colours and changing hues inspired by the Thames paintings of Impressionist Masters and English Romantic artists.
Illuminated River Project is designed by artist Leo Villareal and architects from Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and will see the implementation of lighting artwork up to 15 central London bridges, from Albert to Tower Bridge.
The existing lighting pollution around the river will be greatly reduced by the installation of energy-efficient LED technologies, smart networks and customized software. The implementation of intelligent light will reduce existing energy consumption and light pollution on the river, lowering levels of light spill into the river rendering a long term sustainable lighting solution further improving the environment for the Thames flora and fauna.
The established British infrastructure firm will work closely with the Illuminated River Foundation, the charitable organisation set up to deliver the project. The work will begin in early 2019 and is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2019.
Through its long-term relationships with over half of London’s boroughs, FM Conway already has responsibility for over 850 bridges and highways structures across the capital, including key Thames River crossings and up to 150,000 lights.
This project will be an art commission on a magnanimous scale which would include the use of light in order to increase connectivity, economic activity and public enjoyment of the city at night, whilst improving conditions for the environment in and surrounding the river.