Port Commission Approves Artistic Team For Lighting San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge

Port Commissioners have embraced a selection panel’s recommendation of a combined European and North American artist-led design team to artistically light the iconic San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge.

The Board of Port Commissioners accepted the recommendation at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010. The team will be lead by London-based artist Peter Fink of FoRM Associates in collaboration with Speirs and Major Associates and Buro Happold. The team was selected over two other finalists, the Bideau Company and the team of Ned Kahn/ Patrick McInerney/Arup.

Public art representatives from the Port of San Diego plan to meet with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to outline the next steps for lighting the 2.1-mile bridge which spans San Diego Bay.

Estimated cost for lighting the bridge is between $4 million and $5 million. The funding is anticipated to be obtained through private sources, grants and fundraising. If funding is secured, a feasibility study on the project will be conducted.

The Fink team envisions illuminating the bridge with programmable LED lighting powered from electricity generated by wind turbines. The bridge pillars would be illuminated to emphasize the bridge as a welcoming gateway to celebrate the region. By using a color changing LED lighting system, an infinite number of lighting scenarios could be created and displayed.

Peter Fink is an artist with 30 years experience working with lighting in combination with urban design and engineering. Fink recently completed a number of public art projects including a year-long lighting strategy for Pittsburgh’s ThreeRiversPark, which involved concept lighting designs for 20 bridges. In 2000, Fink was responsible for “Light Year” which used the CanaryWharfTower in London as a canvas for a large kinetic lighting and laser installation viewed world-wide on television on New Year’s Eve and the countdown to the New Year.

The selection panel was comprised of architects, arts and lighting professionals, as well as green energy experts.

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