Later this year Brighton will become home to the world’s tallest moving observation tower named British Airways i360. The iconic new Brighton beach attraction has been conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects, the husband and wife team responsible for the creation of the London Eye.
Opening as early as June 2016, the British Airways i360 viewing pod will cruise up to 450 feet high where guests on board can enjoy breathtaking 360 degree views. On a clear day you’ll be able to see 26 miles in all directions, taking in the white cliffs of Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters, the South Downs, Arundel Castle, Worthing, Eastbourne, Brighton itself, maybe Gatwick, and not to mention plenty of sea.
At 162 metres tall, British Airways i360 is already the tallest structure in Sussex and roughly the height of a 54 storey building. The attraction will be the world’s first vertical cable car offering a new perspective on the fun loving seaside city of Brighton.
Sited at the root end of the historic West Pier on Brighton’s seafront, the observation tower has a slender, elegant design, with a futuristic pod allowing 200 visitors at a time to enjoy the surrounding view as it slowly unfolds.
In terms of the construction and engineering, it’s worth a visit to the website to see the videos and updates on the construction of i360. With parts being made in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Holland and as far away as Australia, the i360 is a major feat of engineering as the world’s slenderest tall tower – nothing comes close to its height-to-diameter ratio of 40 to one.
And, if you’re wondering what the “i” in its title stands for : it’s independence and innovation. It seems absolutely perfect for a city that’s had a rough few years in the architectural wilderness, that is politically and culturally diverse and has a reputation for quirkiness.