The project is the result of an unparalleled collaboration between London based and international creative talent, local authorities and partners including Network Rail.
Free to view, and accessible to all, Illuminated River is a symbol of London’s creativity, ambition and spirit. The artwork celebrates the architecture and heritage of London’s historic bridges and will encourage more people to enjoy the river and the riverside at night. Artwork for the first four bridges will be seen more than 60 million times each year by Londoners and visitors alike.
Cannon Street station also features digital posters along with floor displays which use QR codes to provide more information on the breath-taking project.
Sir Peter Hendy CBE, chair of Network Rail, said:
“Millions of rail passengers rely on London's beautiful and iconic bridges every day to get to and from places of work, education, health and leisure. The Illuminated River project will help highlight the vital role these bridges play in connecting our capital city.”
John Gill, Director of Business Development, Network Rail said:
“The Illuminated River Project has created a very special opportunity for Network Rail to do the right thing and showcase our responsibility in the community. I am proud to have been part of making this happen and seeing the huge transformation it has made to Cannon Street Railway Bridge”.
Conceived by internationally-acclaimed American artist Leo Villareal, and British architectural practice Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, Illuminated River is a philanthropically-funded initiative supported by the Mayor of London and delivered by the Illuminated River Foundation. Working with seven different local authorities, Illuminated River is the biggest single planning application ever made without an act of Parliament. It is the first time the Thames bridges have been cohesively and artistically lit.
Four bridges – London, Cannon Street, Southwark and Millennium – are now lit up in unison, with sequenced LED patterns subtly unfolding across each unique structure. Villareal’s artwork replaces outdated and inefficient lighting on the bridges, providing a more long-term sustainable solution for lighting the Thames. Designed by Atelier 10, the lighting will minimize direct light spill onto the river and reduce energy consumption. While the former lighting ran all night, from dusk to dawn, Illuminated River’s connected LED lighting from Signify (formerly Philip’s Lighting) will be switched off at 2am. The new artwork will be in place for at least 10 years.