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Westminster Bridge Road, London

Working with the London Borough of Lambeth the new creative lighting schemes for four historic rail underpasses within London Waterloo brought spaces to life. The underpasses were: Westminster Bridge Road, Upper Marsh Road and Carlisle Lane. These represented iconic tunnels that had suffered from neglect and become unloved and unused.

The objective was to make the spaces more interesting by co-designing with the community, who had a major role to play. This was their space to champion and be proud of for generations to come.

This would be achieved by complementing the architecture, representing the space and encouraging connection with each other, in terms of participation. Schools and community groups played a key role in design workshops, learning about the history of the local area and developing artwork concepts. This, in turn, was used for some of the projections.

A challenge for the project was to appreciate the historical significance of the structures as well as gain approval from a host of interested stakeholder groups. This included: Transport for London (TfL); Network Rail; London Continental Railways (LCR); Waterloo Quarter BID; South Bank Employers’ Group (SBEG); South Bank and Waterloo Neighbours (SoWN) and the PFI contractor, Bouygues.

A noted aspect of the project was working alongside outdoor advertising specialists, JCDecaux. This involved discussion and agreement to relocate existing advertising outside the tunnels. This meant the lighting schemes could be consistent, without any unnecessary distraction.

Each tunnel now has its own narrative and defined lighting scheme.

Architectural and theatrical lighting helped fuse impact and drama. Bespoke lighting solutions were in place to allow highway lighting to be integrated without any long-term maintenance issues.

“I’ve worked with a lot of designers over the years, but never have I felt so much a part of the design process as I did working with Michael Grubb Studio.” – Steve Wong (Project Manager)


London Borough of Lambeth


London, UK


External Lighting

Scope of Works

External Lighting


Mike Massaro

Design Team

Community Engagement, Make:Good, Michael Grubb Studio, Atkins Global, Bouygues & Urbis Schreder