Illuminated River Awards
In 2022 Illuminated River won its 11th architecture and design award
Building Beauty Award – Public Space Award
Awarded 21 November 2022
The Royal Fine Art Commission Trust unveiled the winners of its 2022 Building Beauty Awards at a ceremony at Bloomberg European Headquarters in the City of London, with prizes presented by Lord Foster of Thames Bank O.M. The awards, sponsored by Ballymore, celebrated buildings, engineering structures and urban landscaping schemes that add beauty to Britain’s built environment. The judging panel was led by Stephen Bayley Hon FRIBA, Chairman of the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust and one of Britain’s foremost design critics.
The winner of the Public Space category was Illuminated River in London , beating Borough Yards and Walala Parade to the crown. The judges said: ‘Until recently – until this project, more precisely – the Thames in central London was a black ribbon with precious little night-time personality, its darkness punctuated every so often by more or less random floodlighting. No more.’ commented the judges, ‘This art installation, covering three miles of the serpentine river, acts as a permanent yet ever-mutating light festival: the lighting on each bridge changes to a timed sequence but also with the tide and the river’s moods – the reflections on the water mean that this is a light show on the river itself as much as on the static mass of the bridges.’
Dezeen Award, Architectural Lighting Design of the Year 2022
Awarded 16 November 2022
Dezeen Awards is an annual awards programme, now in its fifth year. It identifies the world's best architecture, interiors and design, as well as the studios and the individual architects and designers producing the most outstanding work.
Organised by Dezeen, the world's most popular and influential architecture and design website, Dezeen Awards is the benchmark for international design excellence and the ultimate accolade for architects and designers everywhere.
Dezeen Awards 2022 is judged by an international panel comprised of 93 leading figures from the architecture and design world. Additionally to this, we will have a special panel of six sustainability experts from the industry to judge our sustainability categories.
The Judges said:
The Illuminated River lighting design for the Thames is the project that is most generous for the public, illuminating where we work and live. The design brings the theatre of lighting to the everyday.
Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Award
‘Excellence in Planning for Heritage and Culture’ 2021
The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence are the most established and respected awards in the UK planning industry. Running for over 40 years, they celebrate exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society.
The judges added:
‘Illuminated River is a large-scale project which has demonstrated a constructive approach to cross-boundary working and utilised a high degree of collaboration involved to enable the creation of such a large and significant public art installation. The planning tools used, the EIA and the considerable stakeholder engagement from a planning perspectives sets it above all the other entries. The benefits to the community are clear, the economic value created and the sustainability credentials all make this entry worthy of winning.’
The judges also noted that the degree of innovation, including new ways of understanding the urban heritage and the interactive Environmental Statement, are of national (and perhaps international) importance.
Civic Trust Award 2021
As the longest standing built environment awards scheme in Europe, since 1959, more than 7000 projects have been rewarded and the scheme has continued in its objective to recognise projects that have made a positive contribution to the local communities they serve. The aim of the Civic Trust Awards is to encourage the very best in architecture and environmental design, to improve the built environment for us all through design, sustainability, inclusiveness and accessibility, and also to reward projects that offer a positive cultural, social, economic or environmental benefit to their local communities.
The judges commented:
‘The project makes an outstanding contribution to the River Thames and the surrounding built environment. It is of excellent design quality and provides a positive civic contribution.’
London Design Awards
Silver award announced 22 November 2021
The London Design Awards recognises that extraordinary design is the key to harnessing the infinite possibilities tech and innovation are creating in this contemporary context. The Awards program provides marketplace recognition across an extensive range of categories and celebrates the creativity and courage of those who are leading the way.
Illuminated River was awarded silver in the Lighting Design category for the London Design Awards. The award celebrates creative and innovative lighting design or effects in indoor or outdoor spaces.
Maritime Media Awards
Digital Media Award announced 18 November 2021
The Maritime Media Awards were launched in 1995 to honour journalists, authors and others whose work in the media has served to create greater public understanding of maritime issues, and of Britain’s manifold dependence on the sea. The Awards Committee selects the winner based on who has made the most constructive contribution to generating awareness of current maritime issues through digital media.
Illuminated River received a certificate of merit as part of the First Sea Lord’s Award for the best use of digital media.
Announced 25/26 October 2021
In 1987 the Waterfront Center began the ‘Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Program’ to recognize top-quality planning, design, and development work from around the world, including comprehensive plans, built projects and student work. From its inception, the award has grown internationally, with projects across the world being celebrated for their particular contribution to the waterfront realm. The interdisciplinary jury assesses projects based on their civic and environmental values, as well as their sensitivity of the design to water and the overall harmony and quality of the design.
‘Best Use of Arts Culture or Sport in the Place Making’ 2020
The awards recognise various planning and placemaking schemes’ outstanding work in their development of placemaking and economic activity. The award includes a number of categories across a wide spectrum of disciplines including heritage conservation, urban design and environmental consultancy, which Illuminated River spans and was highlighted as a great strength of the project. The Planning Awards describes Illuminated River as a spectacular project which is exceptional for its lighting of 14 London Bridges, which they identified as not only for public enjoyment but also generated longstanding benefits for community, inclusivity and safety.
British Construction Industry Award
‘Small Project of the Year’ 2020
The British Construction Industry Awards bring together the entire built environment, from clients, to architects, to engineers, contractors and their supply chain partners in recognition of their excellent contribution and commitment to improving societal outcomes.
The judges added:
‘Great lengths have been gone into engaging the local community and assessing the popularity of this project to illuminate the first four London bridges. Replacing old illumination with modern artistic luminaires has halved the carbon footprint of the system and significantly reduced light spill onto the river to improve habitat for fish and bats. Collaboration was key across a range of partners which demonstrated excellent engagement both across the design and planning process and post-delivery to inform later stages. The project has a fantastic narrative’.
New London Architecture Award
Jury’s Choice Award 2020
The awards, which are supported by the Mayor of London, seek to celebrate the very best of London architecture in every sector and are unique in their celebration of both built and unbuilt schemes. There is a particular focus on projects which make a positive contribution to the local environment. The jury is composed of an international selection of architecture and urban design experts, advised by London-based expert assessors. Illuminated River won the ‘Jury’s Choice’ Award, identified by the prestigious international jury for its exceptional transformation of the riverside public realm.
The Judges added:
‘This project combines art & architecture in subtly sequenced patterns of light across fourteen Thames bridges with colours referencing Impressionist & English Romantic painters.
The free and publicly accessible artwork spans up to 14 London bridges, unifying and defining them as a sculptural and symbolic link across the capital. This extraordinary piece of public art, urban design and architecture hugely improves the environment and public realm for visitors and local communities along the Thames. Four bridges are now illuminated with a further five being completed in 2021. Illuminated River improves the public realm, defining the bridges as renewed civic spaces for Londoners and catalysing environmentally motivated thinking about reducing extraneous light.’
New London Architecture
‘Culture Award’ 2019
In 2019, Illuminated River won the ‘culture award’ in the ‘unbuilt’ category of the New London Architecture Awards, recognised for its centring of cultural experience to benefit the local community and international visitors. The awards, which are supported by the Mayor of London, seek to celebrate the very best of London architecture in every sector and are unique in their celebration of both built and unbuilt schemes. There is a particular focus on projects which make a positive contribution to the local environment. The jury is composed of an international selection of architecture and urban design experts, advised by London-based expert assessors.