The Illuminated River Foundation and the Mayor of London are looking for a team of artists, designers, engineers, architects, technologists and other specialists to create inspirational light art on the bridges to reinvigorate the River Thames at the heart of the UK's capital.

The two-stage Illuminated River International Design Competition is intended to result in an elegant and charismatic light art installation of world-class quality for all 17 bridges between Albert and Tower.

The first stage will involve submitting details of the proposed team and experience. The five or more finalists who reach the second stage will create concept designs for four bridges along with a design masterplan for all the bridges.

The project to provide London with a new – and free – permanent attraction and is being supported by a broad coalition of stakeholders including the Mayor of London, the City of London, Westminster City Council, Transport for London, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and Network Rail. Around £20m in funds will be raised, largely from private sources, by the coordinating charity the Illuminated River Foundation, which is supported by the Rothschild Foundation.

The competition is being run according to EU procurement guidelines and is independently organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants, whose recent work includes the Tintagel Castle Bridge competition.

Full details of the project and how to enter the competition are on the dedicated competition website (link opens in new tab).

Hannah Rothschild, chair of the Illuminated River Foundation, said: “Even by London’s standards, this project is unprecedented in boldness and imagination: the opportunity to influence and transform the look, identity and experience of the world’s greatest city.

“We’re looking for the finest artists, architects, designers, engineers, technologists and specialists to work together to help realise this exciting ambition. Collaborators can be from different disciplines with varying degrees of experience.

“What matters is bold and innovative thinking to put the art back into London’s greatest artery.”

Competition director Malcolm Reading said: “No design is sought at the first stage, simply a proposal of a multi-disciplinary team and evidence of previous experience – competitors will need to get these in by the deadline of July 7th 2016.”

The (at least) five creative teams who reach the second stage of the competition will be asked to design a concept scheme for four specific bridges – Westminster, Waterloo, London and Chelsea –and an overall masterplan for the full run of 17 bridges. An honorarium of £15,000 will be awarded to each of the shortlisted teams following the selection of the winner.

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