Leading infrastructure services company FM Conway has secured a contract for the second phase of the Illuminated River project – a major public art commission for the capital’s bridges.
The Illuminated River project aims to celebrate the Thames' critical place in the history and culture of the capital through an original LED artwork, which will light up 14 central London bridges from Albert to Tower Bridge.
Designed by artist Leo Villareal and architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, the artwork will span 4.5 nautical miles of the River Thames, making it the longest public art commission in the world.
The news follows the successful installation of phase one, which saw FM Conway light London, Southwark, Cannon Street Railway and Millennium bridges.
Phase two will see the illumination of Blackfriars, Waterloo, Golden Jubilee, Westminster and Lambeth bridges; all planned for delivery at the same time.
Around 4,000 light fittings, 15km of power and data cabling and 250,000 bolts and fixings are expected to be used on the project.
The first phase was delivered through close collaboration with the Illuminated River Foundation and saw the teams overcome unique challenges such as protecting nesting birds within Cannon Street Railway Bridge’s piers. The birds could not be disturbed, so the teams worked around them to deliver the project on time.
Matt Smith, structures director at FM Conway, commented: 'We are delighted to be awarded phase two of this prestigious project. Our expertise and proven track-record in lighting London’s structures saw us successfully light the first four bridges, and we are looking forward to bringing our expertise to the next five bridges as part of this iconic art installation.'
Sarah Gaventa, director at the Illuminated River Foundation, commented: 'We are excited to be working with FM Conway again for the second phase of Illuminated River, a landmark project for London. We hope that this free and accessible project will open up the riverside public realm spaces and encourage visitors to explore London’s attractions at night.'