London's Illuminated River project to be 'longest public art commission in the world'

14/01/2019
Dominic Browne

FM Conway has secured the first phase of the Illuminated River project, which once completed will span 4.5 nautical miles of the River Thames and be the longest public art commission in the world.

Designed by artist Leo Villareal and architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, Illuminated River will see the installation of lighting artwork on up to 15 central London bridges, from Albert to Tower Bridge.

'The artwork will subtly unfold compositions of sequenced light patterns across the bridge structures, using dynamic colours and shifting hues inspired by the Thames paintings of Impressionist Masters and English Romantic artists,' FM Conway said.

'Illuminated River’s energy-efficient LED technologies, smart networks and customised software will provide a long-term sustainable lighting solution for the bridges. Using networks of responsive LEDs, the project will reduce existing energy consumption and light pollution on the river , lowering levels of light spill into the river. Illuminated River will provide an improved environment for the Thames flora and fauna, addressing the environmental impact of existing light pollution.'

FM Conway has been awarded the contract for the first phase of the project, which will see the business install lighting on London, Southwark, Cannon Street Railway and Millennium Bridges.

The infrastructure firm will work closely with the Illuminated River Foundation, the charitable organisation set up to deliver the project. Initial works will begin in early 2019, with completion scheduled for summer 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.

It also worked with the Greater London Authority to deliver a colour-changing LED lighting system on seven of the capital’s bridges for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Ed Barford, head of structures at FM Conway, said: 'This project brings together our expertise in lighting and structures to help deliver a unique artwork for the capital. The bridges across the River Thames are integral to how Londoners and visitors alike identify with, and travel through, the city and we are looking forward to working with the Illuminated River Foundation to deliver such an exciting project.

'This first phase will see FM Conway light up four of the capital’s best-known bridges, setting the standard for the rest of the initiative.' 

Neil Mendoza, chair of the Board of Trustees at the Illuminated River Foundation, said: “The Illuminated River project will be an art commission on an unprecedented scale – using light to boost connectivity, economic activity and public enjoyment of the city at night, whilst improving conditions for the natural environment in and alongside the river.'

Highways jobs

Definitive Map Manager

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
This role is based within the Highways Service at Cambridgeshire County Council and provides an unusual and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Bridge Park Operations Manager

Brent Council
£38,799 - £41,706 p.a. inc.
This is an exciting opportunity to play a key role in managing the operations and contributing towards the... Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
A great opportunity for someone looking to start or develop a career in Highways Engineering including the... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Strategic Transport

Cheshire East Council
£64,000 - £75,000 + benefits
We’re committed to “working for a brighter future together” – and we expect you to be too! Cheshire
Recuriter: Cheshire East Council

Regeneration Manager

Mole Valley District Council
£52,895 - £57,143 FTE
This is a great career opportunity to specialise in town centre regeneration and repositioning. Dorking, Surrey
Recuriter: Mole Valley District Council

Technical Services Officer (Mechanical)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£36,876 - £38,813
This is an exciting and challenging time for Kirklees and we want to expand our team to manage and deliver construction... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Road and Footway Asset Engineer

Kent County Council
£28,925 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Road and Footway Asset Team as an Asset Engineer. Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Head of Waste

Lincolnshire County Council
£65,651 - £70,725
As Head of Waste, you will be commercially focussed and forward-thinking. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director

Reading Borough Council
Up to £92k
It’s the ideal time to take the lead on our modernisation agenda, and deliver growth in the trading of our front line services. Reading, Berkshire
Recuriter: Reading Borough Council

Assistant Director – Highways

Lincolnshire County Council
£82,264 - £107,878
Come and lead the future agenda for our highways services. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

County Highways Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
Seeking a highly motivated leader and an excellent communicator, who has a proven ability to build relationships and trust, leading by example. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Local Highways Manager (East) - Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council
G12 £43,662 - £50,430
Seeking someone who combines excellent technical knowledge with a dedication to the customer. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Download your Highways App

Google App Apple App

Highways on Fridays

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Latest Issue

The ALARM survey 2019

Game over for flyovers?

Traffex, Parkex and Cold Comfort Scotland previews

View the latest issue

Latest Video