Potomac Bridge Light Tender’s House | Washington D.C. USA | mikeyoung kim design

The light piece creates refracted light compositions with dichroic and reflective acrylic at each window of the historic Light Tender’s House on the 14th Street Bridge on the Potomac River that once served the drawbridge that is the entry gateway to the nation’s capital, Washington D.C.




Viewed from afar, the light installation serves as a rotating beacon of transforming light and color and creates a shared, memorable experience for those approaching the bridge towards the city. The granite tower, abandoned since the 1960s after the highway bridge was reconstructed was long considered an eyesore; it’s been transformed into a vibrant, inviting gateway into the city. A central lighthouse light rotates on a choreographed schedule based on 60 minutes of transformation for 24 hours. A series of six dichroic and mirrored surfaces, one for each facet of the tower, create a kaleidoscope of light, reflections of vehicular and river activity back to drivers as they move across the bridge at 40 miles per hour.







Potomac Bridge Light Tender’s House | Washington D.C. USA | mikeyoung kim design

Materials: Dichroic glass, reflective acrylic, LEDs
Year: 2008
Commissioning Entity: DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
Photography: Alan Karchmer

About Damian Holmes 5697 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/

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