David Adjaye, Asif Kapadia, Amanda Levete and Simon Stephens have put forward wildly ambitious plans to light up 17 London bridges – from a hovering ghost river to Chinese firecrackers
Every evening, as twilight falls over London, sharp shafts of light will plunge down from the night sky like apocalyptic laser beams, zapping the city's bridges one by one while an ominous rumbling noise fills the air. “Just as the chiming of church bells once served to gather villagers,” says American architect Liz Diller, “the civic-scale lighting ceremony will celebrate a new form of urban collectivity.”
Her proposal is one of the six shortlisted schemes in the mayor of London's Illuminated River competition, a £20m plan to bring nocturnal sparkle to the dull, grey Thames. Whittled down from 105 entries from across the world, the schemes range from connecting central London's 17 bridges with linear ribbons of light, to gently illuminating their dark vaulted underbellies with a golden glow.