The i360 tower by Marks Barfield Architects

British Airway i360

Source: Kevin Meredith

The £46 milllion i360 tower in Brighton may claim accolades of being the tallest moving observation tower, the first vertical cable car and the world’s most slender tower, but the execution of its design and build is the real talking point

The 162m-tall structure (planning permission has been sought to add a spire making it 173m tall) can’t be missed. It dominates the promenade. The steel structure is located on the beach, with Regency Square to the north, while to the south are the rusting, skeletal remains of West Pier languishing in the sea.

Designed by Marks Barfield Architects and sponsored by British Airways, the i360 has been compared to an outsized flagpole. Without its curvaceous, more aesthetically alluring glass pod, which was stationary at ground level and still undergoing safety tests on the day of the visit, this description seemed pretty accurate. However, once the attraction opens by mid-summer and the pod is full of excited passengers as it slowly ascends up the tower, the structure will finally look complete.

David Marks, managing director at Marks Barfield Architects says that the idea for the i360 was first discussed in 2003 and came out of lessons learned from the London Eye.

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