Running through the heart of London, the River Thames has always been at the center of the city’s evolution, shaping its communities and driving its economy. By day, the river continues to provide a huge source of pleasure for both Londoners and for millions of visitors each year, but at night much of this liquid history fades into a ribbon of darkness.
That’s why The Illuminated River was conceived – because London is a twenty-four-hour city and the Thames should be a place to enjoy after dark. In this major new public art initiative, teams of artists, lighting designers, engineers, architects, and technology experts from across the globe were encouraged to design ideas for creative light art installations for central London’s bridges. Over 100 teams from 20 different countries eventually entered the competition, and six finalists were chosen on November 29.
One of these finalists will become the one who will actually transform London by night, using the seventeen Thames crossings from Albert to Tower as canvases for light. The winner will be announced on December 8, and if all stakeholders agree, the first phase to actually develop the project is planned to start in 2018. The Illuminated River Foundation will then “seek the balance of the costs of the project from private and philanthropic sources rather than the public purse.”
Which of the following projects do you think should win? We selected three images from each of the finalists, but you can view the full concepts on the website of The Illuminated River.