Taube Philanthropies Congratulates Luminary on Lighting London


Leo Villareal, designer of The Bay Lights, will illuminate London’s 17 bridges

​Fireworks over The Bay Lights in celebration of its permanent return on February 10, 2016.
Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

It has been less than a year since Leo Villareal’s monumental work of public art, The Bay Lights, became a permanent light installation on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge, thanks in part to Taube Philanthropies’ support of the project. Recently, the creative mind behind that project, the world’s largest light sculpture, was also awarded one of the United Kingdom’s largest public art commissions.

Villareal will work with a group of architects and urban planners to create a permanent light installation that encompasses 17 bridges crossing the Thames River in London, and more than six nautical miles. A short film on Villareal’s winning project can be seen here.

The Bay Lights became a permanent part of the San Francisco Bay skyline after Tad Taube, Chairman of Taube Philanthropies, offered to provide a $2 million matching grant toward the needed $4 million to keep the lights on, and successfully encouraged fellow members of the Bay Area community to provide the financial support necessary to keep the inspiring light sculpture on the Bay Bridge shining.

“How exciting that Londoners will soon have the opportunity to share in the brilliant creations of the masterful Leo Villareal,” said Tad Taube. “The Bay Lights has become a permanent fixture that will forever enrich San Francisco’s beauty and majesty, as well as that of our extraordinary San Francisco Bay. I extend our gratitude and congratulations to Leo Villareal.”

The London lights project is supported by Hannah Rothschild and the Rothschild Foundation, and Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin’s Arcadia Fund. British architecture and urban planning firm Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands is Villareal’s partner in the project.