The world’s tallest moving observation tower is now open in Brighton where the public can enjoy spectacular views across the south coast of the UK.
The British Airways i360 tower has been 12 years in the making and was designed by Marks Barfield Architects.
The uniformed BA crew will greet groups of visitors up to 200 at a time on board the spaceship-like observation pod in preparation for their ‘flight.’
Once aboard, passengers will smoothly glide up the tower to a 138 metre height in the futuristic pod with its Nyetimber Sky Bar.
The fully enclosed pod is made of hand crafted glass and offers 360 views of up to 26 miles over the English Channel, the Sussex coast and Brighton and Hove.
The British Airways i360 stands at 162 metres tall and is acknowledged as the most slender tower in the world by Guinness World Records, with a height to width ratio of more than 40:1.
In order to keep the tower steady on windy days, special wind buffering features such as a mesh finish around the tower have been included in the design.
The tower also uses state of the art cable car technology to move the pod up and down, using energy recapture technology as part of its descent to generate nearly half of the electricity that is needed to power its ascent.
The pod measures 18 metres in diameter and weight a total of 94 tonnes.
David Marks and Julia Barfield, who designed the London Eye, commented: “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.”