San Diego Crossing Gets Green Lighting Scheme

The wind-powered project is said to be the greenest large-scale lighting design in the nation. (Courtesy FoRM/S+M/Buro Happold)

California State Route 75 is getting a whole lot snazzier. The 2.5-mile-long San Diego–Coronado Bay Bridge is set to undergo the “largest interactive green energy lighting project in North America.” An international team led by London-based artist Peter Fink (FoRM Associates) and lighting designer Mark Major (Speirs + Major) plus the LA-based office of engineering consultant Buro Happold have won a worldwide contest to illuminate the iconic, swooping girder bridge, opened in 1969.

The team’s design incorporates energy-neutral LED lighting powered by wind turbines. The lighting will respond to the rate and intensity of automobile traffic on the bridge, as well as major boat traffic across its 1,880-foot shipping channel, and aims to emphasize the San Diego–Coronado Bay Bridge’s importance as a gateway between communities.

The project will create a colorful gateway for the San Diego communities.

The Port of San Diego and the California Department of Transportation chose the team’s scheme over two other finalists, including the French lighting design firm Bideau Company and a proposal from environmental artist Ned Kahn and Patrick McInerney Architects with engineering consultants Arup. Bideau Company, which has lit the Eiffel Tower and the Acropolis, proposed a moving zig-zag LED pattern projected along the length of the bridge, loosely based on designs found on pottery by the Kumeyaay Indian tribe. Ned Kahn/Patrick McInerney Architects with Arup proposed a series of clever wind and light sculptures situated in the void of each of the bridge’s inverted V-shaped girders.

Lighting will vary depending on the rate of auto and boat traffic around the span.

Check out videos for all three submissions courtesy the Port of San Diego.

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