Brighton, UK — British Airways i360, the world’s tallest moving observation tower, opened on the Brighton seafront on Thursday, August 4th.
Groups of up to 200 visitors glide up gently to a height of 138 metres in a futuristic, fully enclosed, hand-crafted glass viewing pod to admire breath-taking 360-degree views across Brighton, the South Downs and the beautiful south coast.
While onboard the pod, visitors are also be able to enjoy a drink at the Nyetimber Sky Bar as they admire the panoramic views unfolding before them.
‘Flights’ on British Airways i360 last 20 minutes during the day and 30 minutes after 6pm. Tickets cost from £13.50 for adults and from £6.75 for children, with under 4s free.
Twelve 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.
With echoes of the opening of Brighton’s majestic West Pier 150 years ago, extraordinary vision and world-class engineering has led to the creation of British Airways i360, which has an elegant, modern design that looks to the future while respecting the heritage of the site.
Architect and British Airways i360 chairman David Marks said: “Built at the landward end of Brighton’s historic West Pier, British Airways i360 is a modern day ‘vertical pier’ that gives a new perspective on the city. Just as the West Pier invited Victorian society to ‘walk on water’; so British Airways i360 invites visitors to ‘walk on air’.”
“The glass viewing pod, ten times the size of a London Eye capsule and capable of carrying up to 200 passengers, will slowly rise up a slender steel tower to a height of 450 feet to provide passengers with stunning views of Brighton and Hove and a beautiful panorama of the south coast and English Channel.”
“Today we would like to thank all those who have supported the project over the past twelve years. It has been a fantastic team effort and we would like to pay tribute to all the people that have contributed to make British Airways i360 a reality.”
The team behind British Airways i360 includes key people and firms who worked with the architects on the London Eye. Architect and British Airways i360 director Julia Barfield said: “British Airways i360 is a fantastic example of European cooperation. The team includes many key individuals and firms we worked with on the London Eye and it has been our privilege over the past twelve years to see the commitment, determination and enterprise with which they have turned the designs and plans into reality.”
British Airways director of strategy and MD Gatwick Lynne Embleton said: “Brighton is home to thousands of our customers and colleagues and every year we bring more people to the UK than any other airline. British Airways i360 has been constructed from materials sourced from nine different countries, the steel tower is from the Netherlands, the glass from Italy and the tower dampers have flown more than 9,000 miles from Australia – so like us it’s very well-travelled! We are delighted to be involved in this landmark attraction which we are sure will quickly establish itself as a great British landmark and a must-visit for overseas visitors travelling to the UK.”
British Airways i360 chief executive Eleanor Harris said: “British Airways i360 is a unique visitor attraction and a world’s first, which will cement Brighton’s position as the UK’s most popular seaside destination for international visitors. It is the world’s tallest moving observation tower, the world’s first vertical cable car and holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s most slender tower. Alongside our sponsors, British Airways, we are promoting Brighton around the globe.”
Tickets can be booked at BritishAirwaysi360.com or by calling 03337 720 360 (a £2 surcharge will be added to each booking made by telephone). Bookings can also be made at the British Airways i360 ticket office.