The British Airways i360 observation tower has reached its maximum height of 138m for the first time, with tests continuing until the attraction’s opening later this summer.
Designed by David Marks of Marks Barfield Architects, the architects behind the London Eye, it is set to become the world’s tallest moving observation tower when it opens on Brighton beach in England, offering 360 degree views of the the city, as well as other places such as Hove, the Sussex coast and the English Channel.
The overall height of the tower is planned at 162m, with an observation pod that rises from ground level to 138m above the beach.
Each ‘flight’ will carry up to 200 visitors at a time. The project also incorporates a 400-seat restaurant, a gift shop, a childcare’s play zone, an exhibition space and conference and event facilities.
Sited at the root end of Brighton’s historic West Pier, British Airways i360 will breathe new life into this area of the seafront, creating a ‘vertical pier’.
The architects approached the project with “a modern design concept that looks to the future, while respecting the heritage of the site”.
British Airways i360 has worked with the West Pier Trust to rebuild two of the original West Pier tollbooths using Victorian building techniques. The reconstructed buildings now grace the entrance to British Airways i360, and will house the West Pier Tea Room and ticket office.