Thomson receive ‘Civic Trust Award 2021’ for ‘Illuminated River’ ecology work

Thomson have been awarded with the ‘Civic Trust Award 2021’ for our work associated with the Illuminated River project, the world’s longest public art commission, designed to illuminate the bridges of the Thames and adding colour to the riverside at night.

Thomson’s Water Ecology Team gave initial, overarching advice on the impacts of light on fish and marine mammals, as well as bats and birds and ensure the lighting would be designed with ecology in mind in order to have as little negative impact as possible.

What are the Civic Trust Awards?

The Civic Trust Awards is Europe’s longest running continuous architectural and built environment awards programme. The award is given to projects that make an outstanding contribution to the quality and appearance of the built environment. Award level schemes demonstrate excellence in architecture or design, whilst being sustainable, accessible and provide a positive civic contribution.

What is the Illuminated River project?

Illuminated River is an art installation by New York-based artist Leo Villareal and architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands designed to transform the Thames into a glowing art piece. Thomson were selected to ensure that the lighting would be considerate to the history and ecology of the Thames.

More than 25,000 energy-efficient, low voltage LED lights were used to enhance and create effects on 14 London bridges, transforming the capital at night. Stretching 8.3km in length from London to Lambeth bridges, Illuminated River is the longest public art commission in the world. The privately funded work is expected to remain in place for at least 10 years.

The first phase of the project (commencing back in summer 2019) saw London Bridge, Southwark Bridge, Millennium Bridge, and Cannon Street Bridge each painted in their own distinct light treatment.

Phase two of the Illuminated River project took place in Spring 2021 (delayed from autumn 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic), and lit up Blackfriars Road Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Lambeth Bridge, and the Golden Jubilee Footbridges.

The final phase is to be completed by 2022, at which point every river crossing between Albert Bridge and Tower Bridge will be awash in colour.

How Thomson Environmental Consultants assisted with the ‘Illuminated River’ project

Our Water Ecology team supported Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands the project’s architects, with the planning approvals for the project.

The team assisted with the development of the scoping document, provided specialist advice with respect to identifying potential impacts to both aquatic and terrestrial ecological receptors, and have carried out ecological surveys to determine baseline populations of bats and breeding birds. We assisted in the development of the ecology chapter of the Environmental Statement that submitted as part of the planning application.

How Thomson can help

We’re one of the leading experts in UK ecology. If you need advice with meeting environmental compliance on any of your development projects, please contact us, we’re here to help.

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