British Airways i360, the tallest moving observation tower in the world, will open to the public on Thursday August 4. The new attraction on the seafront in Brighton, is the world’s first vertical cable car.
Groups of up to 200 visitors will glide gently upwards to a height of 138 metres in a futuristic, fully enclosed, hand-crafted glass viewing pod to admire 360-degree views of up to 26 miles over Brighton and Hove, the Sussex coast and the English Channel.
Eleven years in the making, British Airways i360 is the brainchild of architect-entrepreneurs David Marks and Julia Barfield of Marks Barfield Architects, best known as the practice that conceived and designed the world- famous London Eye.
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. British Airways i360 uses state of the art cable car technology to drive the pod up and down, and uses energy recapture technology during its descent to generate almost half of the electricity required to power its ascent.
Passengers on British Airways i360 will board a specially designed pod, ten times the size of a London Eye capsule, capable of holding up to 200 people comfortably. Passengers can walk around freely inside the pod. Seating is provided and the interior environment of the pod is controlled to ensure passengers are comfortable. There is always a pod host on board who is in touch with the ground via camera and radio links. The double-glazing of the pod ensures that the views are magnificent and, because the pod ascends on the outside of the tower, the views are totally unobstructed. The pod is 18 metres in diameter and weighs 94 tonnes.
At beach level, the British Airways i360 Beach Building is a single storey glazed building that stretches the width of Regency Square behind it. The Beach Building accommodates all of the technical and administrative facilities associated with operating British Airways i360, as well as a 400 seat restaurant, a shop, children’s play zone, exhibition space, tea room, conference and event facilities. The roof of the Beach Building extends the esplanade on the seafront, creating space for the boarding area for the pod, as well as a ticket office and tea room.
Original source: eastbourneherald.co.uk