The lighting design on the Rong (Dragon) Bridge over Han River, in central Da Nang city, received the ‘Best Citation' Award from the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD).

This award was presented at a ceremony in Las Vegas (US) early this month.

The lighting designer, Tran Van Thanh, who is director of the ASA Lighting Design Studio Company, confirmed this to Vietnam News on June 22.

It is the first Vietnamese lighting design practice to receive such a prestigious world award.

"I am very proud that our project at Dragon Bridge has been recognised by such a prestigious world award, the very first project in Vietnam," said Thanh, who is the project leader.

The design has been praised for "a whimsical, well-crafted multimedia experience communicating national and religious identity."

This unique bridge, which is lit up beautifully, also breathes fire and sprays water, and has become Da Nang's new landmark. It is a thing of pride for locals and attracts more tourists to the city.

"This project transcends the notion of a monumental bridge with dynamic colour-changing lighting, creating an iconic sculpture in the skyline that is both reverent and whimsical," a judge stated at the ceremony.

"The purposeful integration of the lighting hardware articulates the dragon's form, and the fire-breathing dragon head is just the cherry on top," the judge said.

IALD Judges had chosen 16 award winners from more than 200 submissions from all over the world.

In January, the lighting design of the bridge was shortlisted for the Lighting Design award at the 2013 FX International Design Awards in London and the 2014 Lighting Design Awards for International Projects (Interiors) category.

Last month, the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) presented the Engineering Excellence Award for the bridge at the Grand Award ceremony in Washington DC (US).

The 666m bridge, which was inaugurated last year, is in the shape of a dragon. The dragon's head is designed to spit fire on Saturday and Sunday nights and spray water during the daytime.

The dragon's head is inspired by the stone dragon design from the Ly Dynasty with a tail in the shape of a lotus.

The 500m-long body of the dragon was built by using five 1.2m arched steel pipes weighing 1,000 tonnes in total. The six-lane bridge is illuminated at night by 5,000 LED lights.

It connects the main road to the airport and My Khe beach in Son Tra peninsula, and the UNESCO-recognised world heritage Hoi An city.

The central city's Department of Transport has applied for recognition by the Guinness World Records of the bridge for having the "largest steel dragon".-VNA