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110 PROJECT / TOWER BRIDGE WALKWAYS, LONDON
WALK THIS
WAY
When charged with lighting the walkways of Tower
Bridge for events and exhibitions, Eleni Shiarlis opted
for a two-system approach to create a versatile
permanent scheme for all occasions
Lighting the most famous bridge in the the lighting for each event meaning costly lighting control system.
world was always going to be a challenge, and sometimes scrappy temporary solutions. Shiarlis was excited to work on such a
especially with a brief of ‘no fittings on A more practical, cost effective and energy famous landmark: “I wanted to work within
show’, but by working within the incred- efficient scheme was needed to provide the beautiful architectural features, high-
ible architecture and with a methodical the bridge with events offering to match its lighting their geometry and structure and
yet inspired approach, a stunning show of iconic status. not conflicting with them. To enhance the
light and colour has been realised at Tower The brief to Eleni Shiarlis, who runs her own length of the walkways, as they just seem
Bridge in the perfect integration of Victo- lighting design practice, was to light the to go on and on, the light used also creates
rian construction and cutting edge lighting East and West Walkways with an identi- this effect as if the tunnel is lit as far into
technology. cal lighting scheme. The scheme had to the distance as the eye can see.”
Starting in 1884, it took eight years and incorporate a versatile dynamic RGB colour In order to meet the brief, Shiarlis broke
11,000 tons of steel to build Tower Bridge changing solution that could be adapted to the scheme down in to two categories:
spanning the River Thames from the Tower suit any function / branded space / client event lighting and exhibition lighting.
of London (where it gets its name) across to event. A general accent lighting solu- “I knew the two had to work simultaneously
Butlers Wharf. An iconic building recognised tion was also required to light the tourist but also perform independently.”
worldwide amongst the London skyline, the information boards, the temporary exhibi- Extensive tests and a couple of mock-ups
bridge consists of two towers that are tied tions and pin spot the tables for the evening were done before the final scheme was
together at the upper level by means of events. decided upon.
two horizontal walkways. The walkways are The client didn’t want to see any fittings so The event lighting took a great deal of
designed to withstand the horizontal forces these had to be hidden. design planning. Due to the Grade I listing
exerted by the suspended sections of the In addition, the lighting was also required to which meant no fixtures could be screwed
bridge to the left and the right. not adversely affect river traffic or pollute in to the fabric of the structure, something
It is these walkways that have been the the London skyline. It is situated within a had to be designed to house the module
focus of the latest addition to this historic major tourist attraction with around one that could be hidden within the steel lattice
building. In order to stage high profile and million visitors per year so it also had to be architecture with a recess depth of 60mm
large scale events, all now managed by Sea- robust and hard wearing as well as creating and also be robust enough to work in a busy
soned Events, a permanent lighting scheme maximum impact. public space. Lead manufacturers for the
was required. Previous to this, various The majority of the scheme had to be event lighting, Tryka LED, came up with a
events companies were being hired in to do energy efficient and be controlled by a bespoke bracket to conceal their 316 RGB
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