British Airways i360, the world’s tallest moving observation tower, will open on Brighton seafront on Thursday.
Groups of up to 200 visitors will 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 on-board the pod, visitors will 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 will last 20 minutes during the day and 30 minutes after 18:00.
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 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.”