New phase of five Illuminated River bridges starts on time as London emerges out of lockdown

The Illuminated River Foundation and the Blavatnik Family Foundation are delighted to announce that the installation of the next phase of the Illuminated River public art commission is now underway. The site works will extend the light artwork to include an additional five bridges, from Blackfriars in the east to Lambeth Bridge in the west – transforming nocturnal views of the city and celebrating the Thames bridges as social, historical and architectural landmarks.

Illuminated River saves previously wasted energy through a combination of LED fittings and reduced hours of illumination, with the first phase showing a significant reduction in energy use compared to previous bridge lighting. To reduce pollution through vehicle emissions and to minimise road congestion, during the second construction phase deliveries to the bridge sites are being made by cargo delivery bikes.

The first phase artwork across London Bridge, Cannon Street, Southwark and Millennium Bridges has been seen over 20 million times since launching a year ago in Summer 2019. Positively received by the public and critics alike for its contribution to London’s global identity, the project has also received praise for its sensitive attention to London’s historic built environment, and for its focus on sustainability and the ecology of the Thames.

About Illuminated River Foundation

An independent charity, the Illuminated River Foundation was set up to deliver the major public artwork, Illuminated River. The Foundation is committed to raising private funding for the installation and maintenance of the project and has already received generous funding from Len Blavatnik’s Blavatnik Family Foundation and other notable stakeholders. Seed funding was awarded from the Mayor of London’s Office for the initial competition, and from the City of London Corporation for replacing light fittings on London Bridge.

Illuminated River is supported by the Mayor of London and governed by an independent board of trustees chaired by Neil Mendoza, Government Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal and Provost of Oriel College, Oxford University. The Foundation is led by curator and public realm champion Sarah Gaventa, who was formerly Director of CABE Space at the Commission for Architecture and Built Environment.