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Ferris Wheel reinvented with Brighton's world-first i360
POSTED 04 Aug 2016 . BY Tom Anstey
The i360 comes to Brighton's seafront after 11 years of development Credit: British Airways i360
The British Airways i360 – the world’s first vertical cable car, tallest moving observation tower and most slender tower – has opened to the public in Brighton, UK.

Opened today (4 August), the so-called “vertical pier” by Marks Barfield Architects sits on the foundation of Brighton’s former Victorian-era West Pier, which was destroyed by an arson attack in March 2003.

“When the West Pier was built and when the Palace Pier was built, there was a sort of rivalry between them,” said studio MD Julia Barfield, speaking to Attractions Management at the launch, explaining the concept. “It was all about enjoying the view back to Brighton as much as enjoying the air and the promenade. This is really a vertical way of replicating that. When you were at the end of the pier you could look back at Brighton and now you can look over it.”

The 162m (531ft) tall i360 is literally a reinvention of the wheel, with the vertical tower offered by Marks Barfield – also designers of the London Eye – as an alternative to the traditional Ferris Wheel concept.

“It’s a very discreet intervention, if you can call a 164m tower discreet that is,” said Barfield. “It’s very, very slender – almost impossibly so. It is one to 40 in its proportions which makes it the most slender tower in the world.

“We wanted a small space with a great view and this was the way to do that,” she continued. “The footprint of the tower itself is 3.9m (12.8ft) in diameter. The pod for this tower is at the limit of what a tower this size can take, with 200 people able to board at one time.”

Eleven years in the making, Marks Barfield worked on the project with constructor Hollandia, local engineers Mackley Construction, pod-maker Poma-Sigma and Italian glassmaker Sunglass.

The i360 cost £42.2m (US$56.2m, €50.3m) to develop, funded in-part by a £36.2m (US$48.2m, €43.1m) government loan.

During each ‘flight’, passengers board the pod – similar in style to that of the London Eye but on a significantly larger scale – and take a 20 minute journey for unobstructed views of Brighton and the surrounding areas, with views stretching for miles on a clear day. A single-storey visitor centre has been incorporated into the foot of the tower design, which includes a 400-seat restaurant, conference and exhibition space, a shop and children’s play facilities.

When asked if the i360 model would be replicated as has been seen with the London Eye, Barfield said it was a possibility.

“We’re open to suggestion, put it that way,” she said. “This is certainly the first of these towers but it might not be the last. A future model likely would not be identical – I’m a true believer in making the projects fit their context. We would have to adapt it for its surroundings. This fits the West Pier nicely but you would have to consider particularly the base building and how it sits. Future iterations would be designed to be bespoke to their surroundings.”
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The i360 cost £42.2m (US$56.2m, €50.3m) to develop Credit: British Airways i360
Architects Julia Barfield and David Marks created the unique concept Credit: British Airways i360
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Work progresses on UK's first vertical cable car as i360 viewing pod is completed


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NEWS
Ferris Wheel reinvented with Brighton's world-first i360
POSTED 04 Aug 2016 . BY Tom Anstey
The i360 comes to Brighton's seafront after 11 years of development Credit: British Airways i360
The British Airways i360 – the world’s first vertical cable car, tallest moving observation tower and most slender tower – has opened to the public in Brighton, UK.

Opened today (4 August), the so-called “vertical pier” by Marks Barfield Architects sits on the foundation of Brighton’s former Victorian-era West Pier, which was destroyed by an arson attack in March 2003.

“When the West Pier was built and when the Palace Pier was built, there was a sort of rivalry between them,” said studio MD Julia Barfield, speaking to Attractions Management at the launch, explaining the concept. “It was all about enjoying the view back to Brighton as much as enjoying the air and the promenade. This is really a vertical way of replicating that. When you were at the end of the pier you could look back at Brighton and now you can look over it.”

The 162m (531ft) tall i360 is literally a reinvention of the wheel, with the vertical tower offered by Marks Barfield – also designers of the London Eye – as an alternative to the traditional Ferris Wheel concept.

“It’s a very discreet intervention, if you can call a 164m tower discreet that is,” said Barfield. “It’s very, very slender – almost impossibly so. It is one to 40 in its proportions which makes it the most slender tower in the world.

“We wanted a small space with a great view and this was the way to do that,” she continued. “The footprint of the tower itself is 3.9m (12.8ft) in diameter. The pod for this tower is at the limit of what a tower this size can take, with 200 people able to board at one time.”

Eleven years in the making, Marks Barfield worked on the project with constructor Hollandia, local engineers Mackley Construction, pod-maker Poma-Sigma and Italian glassmaker Sunglass.

The i360 cost £42.2m (US$56.2m, €50.3m) to develop, funded in-part by a £36.2m (US$48.2m, €43.1m) government loan.

During each ‘flight’, passengers board the pod – similar in style to that of the London Eye but on a significantly larger scale – and take a 20 minute journey for unobstructed views of Brighton and the surrounding areas, with views stretching for miles on a clear day. A single-storey visitor centre has been incorporated into the foot of the tower design, which includes a 400-seat restaurant, conference and exhibition space, a shop and children’s play facilities.

When asked if the i360 model would be replicated as has been seen with the London Eye, Barfield said it was a possibility.

“We’re open to suggestion, put it that way,” she said. “This is certainly the first of these towers but it might not be the last. A future model likely would not be identical – I’m a true believer in making the projects fit their context. We would have to adapt it for its surroundings. This fits the West Pier nicely but you would have to consider particularly the base building and how it sits. Future iterations would be designed to be bespoke to their surroundings.”
Sign up here to get the Attractions Management weekly ezine and every issue of Attractions Management magazine free on digital.
The i360 cost £42.2m (US$56.2m, €50.3m) to develop Credit: British Airways i360
Architects Julia Barfield and David Marks created the unique concept Credit: British Airways i360
RELATED STORIES
Work progresses on UK's first vertical cable car as i360 viewing pod is completed


The glass viewing pod for a vertical cable car billed as “the world’s tallest moving observation attraction” was completed yesterday (13 January) on the UK’s Brighton beach.
Marks Barfield Architects’ Brighton i360 enters final stages of construction


Locals in Brighton have taken their first proper look at Marks Barfield Architects’ Brighton i360 vertical cable car, following the removal of the structure’s jacking tower.
Marks Barfield Architects’ Brighton i360 tower scraps wind turbine amid safety concerns


Marks Barfield Architects’ Brighton i360 will no longer feature a wind turbine on the tower, after concerns were raised that high winds could cause the structure to move.
London Eye designers’ latest observation tower ready to make its mark


Marks Barfield Architects’ Brighton i360 is about to get vertical as construction work at the observation tower in the south coast of the UK shifts into a new gear and heads skyward.
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Global wellbeing organisation, Therme Group, has today announced plans for a CAN$350m (€236.3m, £201.8m, US$280.8m) wellbeing resort in Toronto, Canada, at Ontario Place.
Jorvik's global art project will connect 14 cities
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COMPANY PROFILES
Simworx Ltd

The company was initially established in 1997. Terry Monkton and Andrew Roberts are the key stakeh [more...]
Antonio Zamperla Spa

Founded in 1966, the Antonio Zamperla SPA is privately owned by Mr Alberto Zamperla. Located in Vi [more...]
FORREC Ltd

We create guest experiences others don’t, masterplan like no one else can, and give the world’s bi [more...]
Painting With Light

By combining lighting, video, scenic and architectural elements, sound and special effects we tell s [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

IAAPA helps move leisure and attractions industry forward with IAAPA Expo Europe
As the leisure and attractions industry continues to recover and look to the future, IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, is moving forward with plans to host IAAPA Expo Europe this September. [more...]
VIDEO GALLERY

Proslide Tech Inc - ProSlide | Atlantis Dubai
More videos:
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CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

28-30 Sep 2021

International Wellness Tourism Conference

Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, Miami, United States
01-07 Dec 2022

World Leisure Congress 2022

tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
+ More diary  
 


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