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'A high tech Eiffel Tower: AE Superlab propose landmark New York attraction

Design and development studio AE Superlab have proposed a new attraction and landmark for New York, as the city seeks an icon to crown its forthcoming Empire Station Complex.

The Halo is a 1,200ft (366m) high semi-transparent, lightweight superstructure featuring panoramic viewpoints and 11 tower rides, which will carry thrill seekers to the top before either carrying them gently back down or plummeting at speed.

Empire Station is a US$3bn (€2bn, £2.6bn) revamp of New York’s Penn Station, due to be completed by the end of the decade. The State of New York and its partners issued a request for proposals for a mixed-use development on site that will “captivate the world’s interest and provide economic development.” AE Superlab created The Halo in response.

"Riders can take in vistas at almost three times the height of the London eye, or free fall more than twice as far as the next-tallest ride of its kind"

The structure, designed in collaboration with Arup, would be 60ft (140m) in diameter and formed of 17,000 tons of high-quality steel. The designers propose that this weight could be supported by the granite perimeter columns of the old Penn Station, whose foundations remain in place around Madison Square Gardens. An annex around the nearby Farley building is suggested as an alternative location.

According to the firm, the combination of a gut-churning attraction and iconic landmark could generate over US$1bn (€878m, £672m) through private-sector ticket sales.

“This is New York’s high-tech version of the Eiffel Tower: a thrill ride taller than the Empire State Building, and an unforgettable icon on the skyline,” they said in a statement. “Riders can take in vistas at almost three times the height of the London eye, or free fall more than twice as far as the next-tallest ride of its kind. The tower ride will be the biggest and fastest in the world.”

Visitors could choose different rides to go on. Some gondolas would gradually go up and down The Halo, while others would drop at speeds in excess of 100 mph, creating a sensation of complete weightlessness for several seconds.

In addition, The Halo would also serve as the city’s largest and most visible interactive info display. Its surface would display a wide range of information via any combination of its multi-coloured rings – each representing one of New York City’s five boroughs – and a transparent LED pixel screen “skin.”

AE Superlab say these features could be used interactively to give live feedback from sporting events, visualise interesting data, provide weather warnings and show the results of live polling.

The client behind the proposal is Brooklyn Capital Partners and ride engineering comes from S&S Worldwide. According to the development scheme, the structure can be completed in less than 20 months after receipt of approval.

The Halo  New York  AE Superlab  Manhattan  Empire Station Complex  Penn Station 
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Design and development studio AE Superlab have proposed a new attraction and landmark for New York, as the city seeks an icon to crown its forthcoming Empire Station Complex. The Halo is a 1,200ft (366m) high semi-transparent, lightweight superstructure featuring panoramic viewpoints and 11 tower rides, which will carry thrill seekers to the top before either carrying them gently back down or plummeting at speed. Empire Station is a US$3bn
CLD,VAT,PRO,ARC,DES,DEV,INV
The structure would be 1,200ft high and 60ft in diameter, making it taller than the Empire State Building / AE Superlab
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