The world’s tallest moving observation tower has sprung into action, offering 360 views over Brighton and the English coastline.
British Airways i360 – which opens to the public on 4 August – is the first ever vertical cable car. Its glass viewing pod rises to a heady height of 138 m above Brighton beach.
‘Everyone loves a great view; it seems to be a universal desire to see the earth and its cities from exceedingly high places,’ says architect David Marks, who along with practice partner Julia Barfield created the tower.
The pair – whose practice Marks Barfield Architects is responsible for the London Eye – have set a host of records with their design for the vertical pier, including ‘thinnest observation tower in the world’, thanks to its slender height-to-width ratio of 40:1.
Costing £42.2m, the tower is at the heart of a £1bn council-led scheme to regenerate the city’s seafront. Says Brighton and Hove City Council leader Warren Morgan: ‘British Airways i360 is perhaps the most significant addition to our visitor economy since the council opened the Brighton Centre in 1977.’
At the base of the tower, a single-storey glazed structure – known as The Beach Building – houses a 400-seat restaurant, shop, exhibition space and cafe.
British Airways i360’s glass pod can carry a total of 200 passengers at a time, who will be able to enjoy views stretching for up to 26 miles.
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