A decade in the making, the Twin Sails Bridge connects the Borough of Poole to the nearby town of Hamworthy. Both communities saw the new crossing as a catalyst for development as well as a necessary addition to alleviate traffic congestion on the nearby Poole Bridge.

The lighting was designed under the direction of Jonathan Speirs, and key to the project brief was the mandate to create a nighttime icon, one that would create an experience for driver, pedestrian, cyclist, and mariner alike. At the heart of that experience is a bridge that transforms into a sail-like structure. The middle segment—the asphalt roadway and metal-grate pedestrian walkway—pivots open and is cut on the bias. As the leaves raise up to full vertical, the two segments stand in opposition and it appears as if two sailboats are passing.
In its closed position, the bridge is illuminated with white light. Metal halide sources uplight the underside of the bridge and its structural ribs. LEDs are integrated into the pedestrian handrail and at the tip of each mast. The lights along the pedestrian zone change from white to red to alert those on the bridge that it’s raising or lowering. Red lights in vertical “totem-like structures” along the bridge begin to flash, and then a wash of red color rolls out like a carpet along the pedestrian path. The animation is perfectly timed thanks to a control system with time clock, photocell, and link to the bridge’s mechanical operating system. With its nod to nautical motifs, the lighting design celebrates the water and the sensation of motion.
Jury Comments: A fantastic project • The split of the roadway on the diagonal is extremely clever. • A great use of color to highlight the bridge structure and mast and to produce striking reflections on the water.


Architect: Wilkinson Eyre Architects, London 
Lighting Designer: Speirs + Major, Edinburgh, Scotland, and London 
Photographer: Dave Morris Photography 
Project Size: 456-feet-long by 35-feet-wide (bridge dimensions) 
Project Cost: £37 million ($57.9 million), £18.5 million ($29 million) for the bridge 
Watts per Square Foot: Not available 
Manufacturers: Crescent Lighting, Encapsulite, iGuzzini, Metamont/Abstract AVR, Mike Stoane Lighting, Sill Lighting