Les Mills International
Les Mills International
Les Mills International

Ferris Wheel reinvented with Brighton's world-first 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 CLAD 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.”

i360  visitor attraction  Marks Barfield  architecture  Brighton  
Related stories
14 Jan 2016

Excitement mounts as viewing pod completed for UK's first vertical cable car

28 Oct 2015

Marks Barfield Architects’ Brighton i360 tower enters final stages of construction

06 Aug 2015

Marks Barfield Architects’ Brighton i360 tower scraps wind turbine amid safety concerns

15 Jun 2015

IN PICTURES: The World's first 'vertical cable car' – the new i360 by Marks Barfield Architects

28 Jul 2014

Brighton's i360 plans finally underway as London Eye team reunites to build iconic structure

12 May 2003

Brighton pier in flames again

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
CLD,VAT,ARC,DES
The i360 comes to Brighton's seafront after 11 years of development / British Airways i360
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7634     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7634     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Barr + Wray Ltd
Founded in 1959, Barr + Wray is recognised as a world-leading provider of spa design, engineering and pool & spa equipment.
videos
BluGalaxy a Division of Blu Spas
Blu Spas
This animation showcases the beautiful concept design of BluGalaxy Spa.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
SHL’s Monroe Blocks mixed development in Detroit, US
"Most clients are very focused on how buildings are used and experienced as the primary design driver"

The MD of Schmidt Hammer Lassen and the CEO of PerkinsWill tell us why their merger will help create smarter buildings driven by human behaviour

Health & Fitness: Working it
"We’ve designed the space so that the atmosphere is intimate"

Les Mills’ new studio spaces at its iconic Auckland City Gym showcase a trend away from masculine ‘grunty’ gyms to something altogether different

The guestroom interiors are by Foster + Partners
Dana Kalczak
"If we had focused entirely on high tech in the hotel, the artistry we normally strive for would have been compromised"

Four Seasons’ vice president of design speaks to CLAD about working with Norman Foster and creating magical moments

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
Francis graduated as a landscape architect in Belgium. He returned to Lebanon in 1993
"I believe gardens are where the soul rests"

With a focus on desert landscapes and collaborations with Zaha Hadid and OMA, the principal of Francis Landscapes has a deep belief in the power of nature

The Center for Sustainable Landscapes in Pittsburgh, US
José Almiñana
"We are committed to designing evocative landscapes informed by the best environmental science"

The Andropogon principal on pushing the boundaries of landscape design for the benefit of humans and nature

features
Olga Polizzi is director of design for Rocco Forte Hotels and also owns two of her own hotels
"On Via Sistina, everything breathes history. At the same time I wanted to reflect the modern hunger for the fantastical - Tommaso Ziffer"

Following the highly anticipated launch of Rome’s Hotel de la Ville, Rocco Forte’s director of design reflects on a fascinating project

Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards is housed in 35 Hudson Yards, a tower building designed by SOM’s David Childs
"Further hotels have been confirmed for Los Angeles, Santa Clara, CA, Seattle, Chicago and Houston"

Rockwell Group and Joyce Wang on the inspirations behind the guest rooms, public spaces, spa and gym at Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards

cladkit product news
Christie laser projectors power new Five Senses Bubble dome theatre
The dome aims to integrate technology with arts and culture
Magali Robathan
Christie® GS Series 1DLP® laser projectors are delivering vivid and lifelike visuals in a new dome theatre located in Xiong’an ...
Jaffe Holden helps bring Academy Museum of Motion Pictures alive
Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics for the Academy Museum
Magali Robathan
Acoustical consulting firm Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics and audio/video design services for the recently opened Academy Museum of Motion ...
Cosm unveils Experience Centre with ‘one of a kind’ LED dome
The new Experience Centre houses a 20m LED dome
Magali Robathan
Cosm, a global technology company that builds end-to-end solutions for immersive experiences, has unveiled its Experience Centre which houses a ...
cladkit product news
Móz Designs columns anchor the world’s largest indoor aquarium
The design of the columns was inspired by the sea
Magali Robathan
After a two-year renovation, Oakland-based metal experts Móz Designs have unveiled their inclusion in Georgia Aquarium’s new shark gallery. Located ...
Diamond balloon concept merges tourist attraction with advertising billboard
Magali Robathan
A group of Dutch engineers have presented a new attractions concept that combines a flying observation cabin with LED digital ...
Siminetti unveils first glimpses of Mother of Pearl decorative surfaces inspired by the four seasons
The new winter design is finished with naturally occurring hexagonal patterns found in snowflakes
Megan Whitby
Siminetti has collaborated with British designer Chrisanna London to create a luxury Mother of Pearl decorative surface range inspired by ...
cladkit product news
Fabio Alemanno Design uses elegant semi-precious stones to create memorable spa experiences
Alemanno believes the stones are well-placed in the spa environment thanks to their capacity to positively support physical and mental health
Megan Whitby
Fabio Alemanno Design has expanded its collection with semi-precious stones to enhance spas, wellness facilities, hotels and private residences. The ...
Eden project uses drones to spell out climate change warning
Magali Robathan
Almost 300 drones were used to signal an environmental message above the Eden Project’s biomes, during the UN Climate Change ...
LianTronics’ glasses-free 3D Star Trek LED screen attracts attention
Magali Robathan
LianTronics’ giant curved LED wall with stunning glasses-less 3D spaceship display effect has attracted many on the street of Chengdu, ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates
Les Mills International
Les Mills International