The lighting of the Coronado Bridge, San Diego reaches large-scale testing phase

A significant milestone has been achieved in the journey to create a monumental signature artwork for the San Diego-Coronado Bay region. Three of the sixty-metre-high overwater columns of the iconic 3.4km San-Diego- Coronado Bay Bridge were illuminated during the week of 9th November 2020 as part of an extensive environmental, programmatic, and design testing phase. This large-scale mock-up represents an important step in bringing the collaborative efforts of the artist Peter Fink of Studio Fink, lighting designers Speirs Major and engineers Buro Happold to fruition.
This delivery of this monumental light project is being managed by a partnership between the Port of San Diego and the California Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction over, operates, and maintains the bridge.

A competition winning design, the bridge lighting is designed to provide both cultural and artistic value, with a strong focus on environmentally sustainable design. The thirty-two bridge columns will be lit to emphasise the role of the bridge as a nautical gateway, highlighting the dynamic connection between the San Diego and the City of Coronado’s communities. As the flagship of San Diego Bay’s economic and urban waterfront renewal, it will create an aspirational marker that denotes a world-class waterfront.

“Light for me as an artist is a cultural thing; not simply linked to the design of cities in only a functional manner but existing inherently as a part of the life of people for whom this bridge was built. The realisation of this ambitious testing program during the COVID-19 crisis has afforded a new context for the bridge lighting project. Standing as a community ‘beacon of light’, it celebrates the quality of resilience as an ocean gateway to the world, and the connectivity vital for future economic and social recovery. “

Peter Fink

Images and Text: Courtesy of Studio Fink

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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