Kingston Bridge, Lighting in Glasgow, Photos, Design, Project, Scotland

Kingston Bridge Glasgow

Illumination for GCC, Strathclyde – design by Leni Schwendinger with Ian Alexander

Kingston Bridge

illuminations glasgow
kingston bridge: image by Steve Hosey, Glasgow City Council

Kingston Bridge Lights up

One of Glasgow City Council’s most unusual lighting projects is being switched on tonight (July 4 2005) at the Kingston Bridge.

The £300k major public art commission, funded by Glasgow City Council, is entitled “Chroma Streams; Tide and Traffic”. It is the work of New York lighting artist Leni Schwendinger in collaboration with Ian Alexander of jmarchitects.

scottish bridge, lighting
kingston bridge: image by Steve Hosey, Glasgow City Council

Sculptural armatures standing on the banks of the River Clyde hold hi-tech lighting fixtures which project colour onto the Kingston Bridge focusing on the underside of the central span. The lighting sequences and colour palette is linked to road traffic levels on the bridge and the tidal flows of the Clyde.

Bailie Allan Stewart, Convener of Glasgow City Council’s Lighting Strategy (Policy & Resources) Working Group, said: “I’m delighted to see the switching on of this project which is an innovative and unique commitment by the Council to lighting as an art form.

“It is part of the Council’s wider commitment to our lighting strategy which highlights some of our best architectural assets and at the same time ensures a safer, brighter street environment for our citizens.

jmarchitects glasgow
kingston bridge: image by Steve Hosey, Glasgow City Council

“But this launch is about more than just one lighting project, it is a celebration of the success of the Council’s lighting strategy which during its first three years has seen dozens of our city’s most beautiful buildings and monuments lit up.

“Our lighting strategy is also providing a UK first in 2005 – a Lighting Festival called Radiance which will take place in November. It will provide a perfect showcase and celebration of the work carried out by the Council to turn Glasgow into a City of Light.”

Leni Schwendinger of Leni Schwendinger Light Projects Ltd said: “Two concrete structural arcs make up the Kingston Bridge. This canvas consists of the bridge’s grand concrete swaths; the underside and two inward faces that connect the arcs.

“My refined palette selection and highly orchestrated programming allows for 144 sequences of unique colour mixes – which will be linked to the actual traffic patterns as data flows through sensors to the lighting control board.”

scottish bridge, lights
kingston bridge: image by Steve Hosey, Glasgow City Council

Ian Alexander of jmarchitects, who were the co-designers of the project and in particular the land based armatures, said: “With Leni we were amazed by the concrete mass of the twin bridge structure at Kingston Bridge and the potential to interact with the movement of the water below and the traffic above.

“The curving armatures below the bridge are mysterious objects by day and night. The curve of the armatures is partly based on Lord Kelvin’s tidal measurements for Queens Dock.

“It is our hope that the lighting for the bridge will reveal the heroic qualities of this structure and allow onlookers to reappraise such a significant structure in the centre of Glasgow.”

Kingston Bridge Lighting – Background

Speeches will begin at 9.30pm. The lighting will be switched on at 10.30pm. The Council will also launch its updated lighting leaflet called Glasgow City of Light – a guide to projects implemented through Glasgow’s Lighting Strategy together with new installations at Crookston Castle and Glasgow Necropolis.

Leni Schwendinger Light Projects Ltd is based in New York. The firm creates lighting environments for architectural and public spaces all over the world. Commissions include an innovative art lighting installation at the Marion Oliver McCaw Opera House in Seattle, USA; illumination for the landmark Coney Island Parachute Jump in New York, USA; and community-based called “Water Above Water, a Sublime Floating Landscape” for Glasgow 1999 at the Forth and Clyde Canal in Maryhill, Glasgow.

The Kingston Bridge Lighting Art Project is a collaborative venture between Glasgow City Council (involving the Council departments of Development and Regeneration Services and Land Services) and Leni Schwendinger Light Projects Ltd in association with jmarchitects Glasgow and consulting engineers Mott MacDonald. The contractors for the project were Northern Light and James Young Ltd.

The Kingston Bridge opened to traffic in June 1970 and now carries in excess of 180,000 vehicles per day across the River Clyde. The Bridge, which is owned by the Scottish Executive, consists of two adjacent structures. The main span across the River is 143 metres long.

Glasgow: City of Light is Glasgow City Council’s city wide lighting strategy. The initiative was launched in March 2002 for which the council allocated £2.65 million from 2001/02 to 2003/04. A further £2.75 million net capital has been allocated for 2004/2005 to 2006/2007. The Kingston Bridge has a separate budget.

Prominent buildings that have been lit up include the Gallery of Modern Art Glasgow, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, The City Chambers, St George’s Tron Church, Tollbooth Steeple at Glasgow Cross and Anniesland Tower. On the River Clyde, other structures that have been lit up include George V Bridge, Glasgow Weir, Victoria Bridge and Glasgow Bridge.

Buildings which are due to be lit in the coming months include Mitchell Library (Nov 2005) and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (Jun 2006).
The private sector has also got involved investing more than £2.2 million and have come to the Council for advice on how best to light their buildings. Buildings which have been lit up in the private sector includes The Sentinel, Waterloo Street; The Corinthian, Ingram Street and Radisson Hotel Glasgow, Argyle Street.

Kingston Bridge – Glasgow City Council information




Architecture in Strathclyde

Glasgow Bridges

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Kelvin Bridge

Glasgow Bridge by Atkins / Richard Rogers




Glasgow Architecture

Glasgow Science Centre
Glasgow Science Centre
photo © Adrian Welch

SECC Glasgow

River Clyde Glasgow

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Kingston Bridge Glasgow – page

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Website: Glasgow