San Francisco’s Bay Bridge to become world’s largest light sculpture

BayBridge Co.Exist:

San Francisco’s Bay Bridge is the dollar store version of the famed Golden Gate Bridge. Before the Bay Bridge closes down this summer for final touches on the new, safer eastern span, the bridge is getting gussied up by artist Leo Villareal, who is individually programming 25,000 white LED lights to generate an endless series of sparkling patterns across the structure.

“Bay Lights”…will be the world’s largest light sculpture upon its completion in March.

The utilitarian Bay Bridge is the ugly stepchild of San Francisco bridges, always coming up short in comparison to the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge. Hopefully this project isn’t just putting lipstick on a pig.

  • David

    That is too bad…The bay bridge has always been my favorite. As an engineer the Bay Bridge is very cool, from it’s length to the artificial island that connects the two suspension spans. In addition we now have the new western span to look forward to. It opens on Labor Day and is looking great. The new western side is the longest self anchored suspension span in the world.

  • JohnDoey

    All bridges are ugly compared to Golden Gate Bridge. The Bay Bridge is a beautiful bridge in its own right.

    • I’d disagree. The Brooklyn Bridge is pretty spectacular.

    • Steven Fisher

      The Lion’s Gate Bridge in Vancouver is beautiful, though it owes a lot of that to its surroundings.

  • Um what? The Golden Gate Bridge is nice, but the Bay Bridge and its location are both spectacular as well. You can’t walk across it (yet), but you can cross half way to Yerba Buena Island and pull over to look down over the western span. It’s pretty beautiful from both ends, and when you drive across (west) you get amazing views of the City. It’s also more likely to be sitting in nicer weather without the GG’s fog and winds.

  • Walt French

    Shawn King wrote, “Hopefully this project isn’t just putting lipstick on a pig.”

    Where’d THAT little turd come from? If you care about its esthetics, take a look at the renderings (sorry a quick scan produced lots of work-in-progress engineering photos but no glossy stuff) and see. Many people are quite happy with it as a statement of engineering, simplicity and grace.

    Many were concerned that the design was not the least-cost approach that safety required, but I can’t recall seeing any opinions that it was ugly.

    • Renderings are always perfect. I’ll wait to see it in reality.

  • I’ve never seen a suspension bridge that wasn’t beautiful in some way.

    • Walt French

      The lights project is interesting. I have enjoyed several sorta-similar, large-scale works such as Christo’s Running Fence near here. But it’s the grace and function of the bridge itself that’ll be durable.

  • It’s stunts like this that obscure the stars from the city-dwellers’ view. Damn shame, really.