Brighton tower lets you see 42km away

SKY-HIGH SEQUEL: Designed by the same team behind the London Eye, the i360 features a slowly revolving ring that moves up the tower.


    Aug 04, 2016

    Brighton tower lets you see 42km away


    THE world's tallest moving observation tower, the i360, opened late yesterday, a futuristic landmark that has transformed the historic seafront in the English tourist resort of Brighton.

    The 162m-high steel tower is ringed by a doughnut-shaped glass observation pod that gently glides up and down.

    The design is meant to be a 21st-century take on the Victorian pleasure piers that characterise British seaside towns: this time, a vertical pier in the sky, according to project chiefs.

    It is hoped that the attraction will further boost tourism in the south-eastern resort of Brighton, a gem of 1700s and 1800s architectural grandeur.

    Designed by husband-and-wife team David Marks and Julia Barfield, the tower is the sequel to their London Eye observation wheel.

    The latter opened in the British capital in 2000 and is now a top visitor attraction.

    "The key ingredient, as with the London Eye, is moving very slowly to a great height for a fantastic view," said Ms Barfield.

    The i360 sits at the entrance to the 1866-built West Pier, which burnt down in 2003.

    With a height to diameter ratio of 40 to one, it is the world's slenderest tall tower, according to Guinness World Records.

    The tower cost £46 million (S$82 million) to build and is expected to draw 700,000 visitors a year. From the top, they can see for 42km along the coast and the English Channel.

    The 18m-diameter observation pod is pulled up by a giant cog and steel cable winch system, located underground.

    The pod will travel up and down around 200 times a week, starting in September, and cost visitors £15 a ride.