The team led by artist Leo Villareal and architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands had the winning proposal in the Illuminated River design competition, which will redesign the lighting scheme for central London's bridges across the River Thames. The winners were one of six shortlisted schemes created by notable such as Adjaye Associates, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Amanda Levete Architects, who all led multi-disciplinary teams with famous artists.
Starting next year, the winning team will further develop the design concept in collaboration with local stakeholders and partners along the river, in addition to seeking feedback from the public.
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As architects and urban planners, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands' portfolio includes major London projects like the Golden Jubilee footbridges. The British firm also has a 25-year relationship with communities and businesses in London's South Bank, where they planned its urban design strategy and helped regenerated the area through co-op housing and commercial developments.
Trained as a sculptor, Leo Villareal has worked with light and computer code for over a decade, and has created a multitude of major installations, sculptures, and public projects. He gained widespread acclaim for his project, The Bay Lights, which lit San Francisco's Bay Bridge for two years. His work is permanently displayed in museums like MoMA and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and he recently participated in London's “Lightshow” exhibition.
“Leo Villareal’s proven ability to paint with light matched with Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands’ direct experience of building bridges over the Thames was an irresistible and inspirational combination,” Hannah Rothschild, Chair of the Illuminated River Foundation, said in a statement. “Their scheme is beautiful, ambitious and realisable but always considerate to the environment, lighting levels and energy conservation. The jury is convinced that the winning team will transform the centre of London while remaining true to the spirit and integrity of the Thames and its communities.”
Working alongside several stakeholders along the Thames supported by the Mayor of London and the City of London Corporation, the Illuminated River Foundation will raise funds from private and philanthropic sources to support the project. The Foundation has already announced its first pledges totaling £10 million this past November, including £5 million from the Arcadia Fund (Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing) and £5 million from the Rothschild Foundation.
- Leo Villareal (Lead Artist)
- Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands (Lead Consultant)
- Future\Pace (Curator)
- Atelier Ten
- Beckett Rankine
- Bradley Hemmings
- Core Five
- Greenwich+Docklands International Festival
- Montagu Evans
- Price & Myers
Check out Bustler's previous coverage of the competition in the links below.
All images courtesy of the Illuminated River competition.
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