London calling for illuminated bridges for public art commission
Signify, formerly Philips Lighting, has been announced as the connected lighting partner to illuminate up to 15 of London’s iconic bridges by 2022. The contract was awarded by the Illuminated River Foundation to reinvigorate the city’s famous River Thames bridges and further differentiate London as one of the world’s most attractive, leading capital cities. Signify won the contract to supply its Interact Landmark system and Philips Color Kinetics LED luminaires to light up the bridges with dynamic, artistic lighting effects via its centrally managed software.
In addition, Signify will provide lifecycle services to remotely monitor and manage the connected bridge lighting for the next 10 years.
This is the first time there has been a holistic strategy to light up all of central London’s bridges. The aim is to create a multi-level visual experience for the bridges viewed by pedestrians on the bridges, from London’s riverbanks, from the air, from tall buildings and by boat. The project is led by the Illuminated River Foundation. It ran an international design competition for the lighting design which was won by the acclaimed, international artist, Leo Villarealand London architects,Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Following a rigorous evaluation, Signify was awarded the project because of its global breadth and expertise in lighting and ability to deliver such an important, large-scale, connected lighting project. Also, a key factor was Signify’s experience of working with lighting designers and architects on the management of dynamic, architectural lighting scenes.
“London’s bridges are world-famous but had become overlooked in terms of their potential to transform our capital city at night,” commented Sarah Gaventa, director, Illuminated River Foundation. “What we are doing now, in partnership with Signify, to transform the bridges and riverfront, is groundbreaking. We are using dynamic, energy-efficient LED lighting for the first time on up to 15 London Bridges with Signify’s Interact Landmark system to create public art on the largest scale ever seen.”
“Light is one of the most powerful means of breathing new life into leading cities and metropolitan areas, heralding a new era of urban design and beautification.
We’ve lit bridges around the world and seen first-hand the positive impact that dynamic architectural lighting has on transforming local communities and economies. It’s wonderful to give the people of London stunningly-lit bridges with some lit up for the first time,” said Maria-Letizia Mariani, President of Europe, EVP, Signify.
Phase one commencing now will see four bridges illuminated by mid-2019 with connected Philips Color Kinetics LED luminaires, featured on the world-famous London Bridge, Cannon Street Railway Bridge, Southwark Bridge and Millennium Bridge. Signify’s Interact Landmark system will remotely monitor and manage the lighting on all four bridges. For the first time, this will see Cannon Street Railway Bridge illuminated as well as both the tops and undersides of the other three bridges. This will allow far more extensive, three-dimensional lighting effects to enhance the areas surrounding the bridges and facilitate safety.
Top Five Facts about London’s Illuminated Rivers project:
- The Illuminated Rivers project will be the longest public art commission in the world once completed, at 2.5 miles in length, equivalent to 44 football pitches laid end-to-end along 4.5 nautical miles of the River Thames. Interact Landmark systemfrom Signify will centrally manage the new connected lighting for this artwork.
- More than 22,000connected Philips Color KineticsLED light points, capable of displaying over 16 million colours, will be used to create dynamic lighting effects on up to 15 London bridges: London Bridge; Southwark Bridge; Cannon Street Bridge; Millennium Bridge; Blackfriars Railway Bridge; Golden Jubilee Bridge, Waterloo Bridge; Blackfriars Bridge; Lambeth Bridge; Vauxhall Bridge; Westminster Bridge; Grosvenor Bridge; Chelsea Bridge; Albert Bridge; Tower Bridge.
- London Bridge: there’s been a bridge on or near this site since medieval times. This commuter favourite has heated pavements designed to prevent ice during cold spells.
- Millennium Bridge is London’s first new pedestrian bridge for over a century and was envisioned as a “blade of light” across the Thames, linking St Paul’s Cathedral with the Tate Modern and Globe Theatre on the South Bank. In conjunction with Foster & Partners, the designer of Millennium Bridge, Signify will dynamically light the underside of the bridge for the first time, creating additional light to showcase the blade of light across the river.
- Every year there are 200 million crossings over the 15 London bridges
Signify is committed to helping cities to develop eco-friendly business and tourist landmarks. An estimated 50-70% of the annual electricity consumption for architectural lighting is saved by moving to connected LED technology compared with conventional lighting.
Being connected, the lighting will be monitored remotely by Interact Landmark. The software will detect and manage faults and perform remote diagnostics and maintenance, improving asset management and thereby reducing costs. On the 15 bridges, there will be more than 13,000 luminaires. These will be controlled individually or centrally to create dynamic, unique scenes.