We are delighted to announce that Future\Pace, the pioneering curatorial partnership between Futurecity and Pace Gallery, joins Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands Architects and artist Leo Villareal, in the winning team for The Illuminated River Competition.

The Illuminated River is an art and architecture commission of unprecedented scale: a unified artwork conceived to light central London’s bridges along the River Thames. The full team includes  PentagramPrice and MyersAtelier TenBeckett RankineBradley HemmingsMontagu Evans, Greenwich + Docklands International Festival and Core Five.

Leo Villareal’s vision for the The Illuminated River was selected by an interdisciplinary panel from 105 teams worldwide and some of world’s top names in architecture and contemporary art.

Announcing the results of the competition, Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “We saw an incredible response to this fascinating competition, showing that London continues to inspire creatives from around the globe, and is open to all. There were some spectacular ideas, and I can’t wait to see the winning design light up the Thames.”

The winning entry presents a transformational artwork, in three stages, designed to enliven the Thames using dynamic light. Villareal’s ambitious composition integrates light and colour on the seventeen bridges, from Tower Bridge to Albert Bridge, creating a sensitive, interactive and site-specific interplay with the river.

Hannah Rothschild, Chair of the Illuminated River Foundation, said: “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.

“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.”

Leo Villareal said: “I’m delighted and humbled by the fact that the jury went with an artistically-driven vision for the Illuminated River. The whole team shares a belief in the power of large-scale public culture and art to enrich our cities. We are deeply committed to this project. In order to nuance the concept design and create presence and legibility, we intend to take time to study the river in all its manifestations.

We want to listen to Londoners in developing the scheme to deliver at all levels of art and light, urban design and architecture, the environment and sustainability. Our aim is for a lighting masterplan which reduces pollution and wasted energy, is sensitive to history and ecology and subtly rebalances the ambient lighting on the river to provide a beautiful night time experience for residents and visitors.”

Having already announced pledges totalling £10 million in November, the Illuminated River Foundation will now raise the remaining funds for the cost of the project from private and philanthropic sources.

The winning team will now start to develop the design concepts in collaboration with stakeholders and partners along the river, and in consultation with the public. This work will take place in 2017.


About Future\Pace

Future\Pace are pioneers of a new approach to curating art in the public realm: embedding large-scale, digital art works into the fabric of the city to create “galleries without walls”. Drawing on Futurecity’s experience of curating permanent public realm art works and cultural infrastructure projects, and Pace Gallery’s technically ambitious exhibition programme and prestigious list of artists, Future\Pace operates an international gallery without walls, representing artists including Leo Villareal, Michal Rovner and Random International.

Read Future\Pace’s manifesto here.