Designed by Marks Barfield Architects and some 12 years in the making, the British Airways i360 opened for press previews on Brighton, UK's sea-front on 29 July, with 4 August marking its official opening to the public. Groups of up of up to 200 visitors will be greeted aboard the spaceship-like observation pod by uniformed BA crew in readiness for their ‘flight’.
‘Passengers’ will glide upwards smoothly, almost imperceptibly, to a height of 138 m in the futuristic pod with its Nyetimber Sky Bar. The fully enclosed pod is formed of hand-crafted glass and offers 360-degree views of up to 26 miles over Brighton and Hove, the Sussex coast and the English Channel.
The design and engineering of British Airways i360 is as impressive as it is innovative. The tower is 162 metres high and it is acknowledged by Guinness World Records as the world’s most slender tower, with a height to width ratio of more than 40:1. Special wind buffering features such as a mesh finish around the tower have been incorporated to help keep the tower steady even on windy days.
The design and engineering of British Airways i360 is as impressive as it is innovative. The tower is 162 metres high and it is acknowledged by Guinness World Records as the world’s most slender tower, with a height to width ratio of more than 40:1.
Special wind buffering features such as mesh cladding around the tower and 76 tubs of water acting as liquid dampers within the tower have been incorporated to help keep it steady in winds of up to 40-plus miles per hour
Julia Barfield and David Marks are also, of course, the brains behind the hugely successful London Eye. Barfield comments: “We first experienced what impact that heady mix of innovative architecture and engineering, combined with a great view of a great city, can have on the city at the London Eye.
“Once you have experienced this, there is an almost irresistible urge to do it again - to drop another piece of design into the water and watch the ripples.”
Marks adds: “Everyone loves a great view; it seems to be a universal desire to see the earth and its cities from exceedingly high places; it is a pleasure both to the eyes, and to the intellect, not only to gaze at horizons, but to look beyond them, and in doing so, to raise one’s sights that much higher.
“British Airways i360 is a modern-day ‘vertical pier’ whose purpose is simply to delight, entertain and inspire. Its design, engineering and method of construction are innovative, just as the West Pier was in its time. Visitors are invited to ‘walk on air’ and gain a new perspective on the city, just as the original pier welcomed Victorian society to ‘walk on water’.”
WAN’s Editor-in-Chief, Michael Hammond spoke to Barfield and Marks when the ‘cans’ which now make up the tower were landed on Brighton beach by barge from Holland last year…Listen here.
The WAN Waterfront Award 2016 award is now open for entries. For further information please contact: