Data + Design Project

Bay Bridge Gets an Animated LED Light Display

Thursday 02.07.2013 , Posted by
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The Bay Lights Leo Villareal 1

In the California Bay area, one bridge has always outshone the rest: the Golden Gate. With its signature red color and prime location at the entrance to the bay, it’s hard to imagine any of the other bridges in the area outshining it… that is until now. The Bay Lights project promises to change the face of another massive bridge in the area, the Bay Bridge, giving one side a massive 25,000 LED light makeover.

The installation, which is scheduled to launch March 5, will illuminate the bridge for the next two years, giving residents and visitors to the bay a whole new bridge to enjoy. The design, created by renowned light sculptor Leo Villareal, is surprisingly designed to better connect the bridge to its natural environment. The massive double-level bridge has an industrially styled grey design – but now it will be covered with an algorithm-driven system designed to make it blend with the energy of the city: the flow of water, cars, ships, and wildlife. The as-of-yet untested design is programmed to never repeat in its two year tenure on the bridge.

“I am interested in augmenting what already exists,” Villareal recently told Co.Design. “I have tremendous respect for the site and want to create something that feels integrated and appropriate. My interest is in creating a focal point for communal experience that highlights one of the icons of the Bay Area.”

See the animated artist rendering of what the bridge will look like (below), then head to thebaylights.org for more.

The Bay Lights Leo Villareal 2

The Bay Lights Leo Villareal 3

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Benjamin Starr

Written by Benjamin Starr



Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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