Explore Millennium Bridge

A blade of light across the river

Millennium Bridge - Illuminated River (2019-07-17) by Neil HawkinsIlluminated River

The history of Millennium Bridge

When it opened in 2002, the Millennium Bridge was London's first new pedestrian bridge for over a century. The design was chosen through public competition and the winning entry was by Foster & Partners and Sir Anthony Caro with Arup. The bridge is an unusually shallow stressed cable suspension bridge and the design highlights the views onto St Paul's Cathedral and Tate Modern at either end. The high profile opening of the bridge was beset with teething problems as the bridge quickly gained its nickname, still often used, as the 'wobbly bridge'.

Illuminated River (2019-07-14/2019-07-14) by James NewtonIlluminated River

The artistic vision

Inspired by superhero Flash Gordon, the lighting scheme was originally designed to incorporate a 'blade of light'. Having dulled over the past decade, Illuminated River consulted Foster & Partners to revamp the original lighting concept. Millennium is the first bridge within Illuminated River to be lit using a monochromatic scheme, layering variations of white light that range in temperature from warm to cool. A line of white light expresses a subtle pulse, moving horizontally along the bridge's sides and harmonising with the linear, clean steel construction. The pulse of light mirrors the movements of people crossing the bridge, highlighting their faces and casting silhouettes that enhance the bridge structure, while preserving the inky darkness of the Thames below.

Scroll to explore Millennium Bridge in 360

Millennium Bridge Moving Detail - Illuminated River (2019-07-14) by James NewtonIlluminated River

Millennium Bridge Moving View 02 - Illuminated River (2019-07-14) by James NewtonIlluminated River

Leo Villareal and Millennium Bridge, 2019 (2019-07-16/2019-07-16)Illuminated River

Leo Villareal discusses the architecture of Millennium Bridge, the inspiration behind his artwork and its visual impact.

Credits: Story

Videography by Paul Crawley ©

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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