The international team who created the London Eye were reunited on Brighton seafront on 24 June 2014 as they prepare to build the Brighton i360, the tallest visitor observation attraction in the UK outside of London, designed by architects Marks Barfield.
The team comprising of engineers and contractors Hollandia from Holland, Poma from France, Jacobs Engineering Group Inc (Jacobs), Marks Barfield architects from London and locally-based civil contractor JT Mackley and structural engineers Hemsley Orrell Partnership (HOP) had a planning meeting at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, gearing up to start construction next week.
David Marks and Julia Barfield, creators of the Brighton i360 and the London Eye, said, “We have the opportunity to create something truly unique and of international renown here in Brighton and Hove. We are excited to be working again with this top team and we all look forward to seeing the opening of the attraction in summer 2016.”
The i360 passenger pod is 18 metres in diameter and has a capacity of up to 200 people at a time. The viewing pod will provide a 360 degree view through curved glass and will travel smoothly up from street level up to 138 metres above sea level before returning to beach level. With an aspect ratio of 40:1 (height to girth), the tower is a feat of cutting edge engineering combined with innovative technology and elegant design to create the futuristic visitor attraction on the Brighton seafront.
The engineering structure, which is in effect a vertical cable car but on a magnificent scale, was designed by Jacobs, a global provider of technical professional and construction services with experience in major leisure facility projects, including visitor attractions and passenger carrying rides. Jacobs and local engineering firm HOP will manage the project.
Main contractor Hollandia, who built the London Eye structure, will be responsible for the construction and erection of the steel tower in sections named ‘cans’. The tower will be constructed by jacking up each steel ‘can’, placing the next underneath until the full height of the tower is reached. This method of erection is less weather dependent than using tall cranes. The steel ‘cans’ for the tower will be transported by sea and arrive on Brighton Beach in spring to early summer 2015.
Nardo Hoogendijk, managing director of Hollandia, said, “We are very proud to be involved in such a project, following our successful partnership on the London Eye. We are excited to be reunited with the same team again to create another inspiring visitor attraction.”
Poma, who built the 32 London Eye capsules, is a French company which manufactures cable-driven lift systems, including funiculars, aerial tramways, people movers, and surface lifts. They are responsible for the construction of the i360 pod, which will be large enough to contain 200 visitors with a birds eye view standing side by side.
Francis Charamel, President of Sigma, the division of Poma responsible for this project, said, “Poma is very pleased to be associated with this unique project and we’re extremely grateful that David Marks has put this confidence in us, following our long and successful partnership.”
JT Mackley, who will be carrying out the ground-works and building the i360 conference centre, were founded in 1926 and are based just outside of Brighton and bring with them a wealth of local experience of coastal and seafront construction.
Tony Camilleri, managing director of JT Mackley, said, “We are very much looking forward to bringing our local knowledge and coastal experience to the project and to working with this international team on what will become a world famous landmark.”
The Brighton i360 will create a moving observation tower experience incorporating a restaurant, retail shop, exhibition space and conference facilities at beach level. The attraction will be run by Brighton i360 Ltd, who’s CEO is tourism expert Eleanor Harris.
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About Brighton i360
At 162 metres high, and with an observation pod rising to 138 metres, the i360 will be the tallest observation tower outside London, offering a new perspective on the fun loving seaside city of Brighton. Sited at the root end of the historic West Pier on Brighton’s seafront, the i360 has a slender, elegant design, with a futuristic pod allowing 200 visitors at a time to enjoy the surrounding view as it slowly unfolds. The visitor centre incorporates a 400 seat restaurant; a shop; exhibition space; and conference and event facilities.
About Marks Barfield ArchitectsFounded in 1989 by Julia Barfield and David Marks, Marks Barfield Architects is the award winning team behind the creation of the London Eye. The practice received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in April 2003 in recognition of the outstanding innovation in design of the London Eye. Marks Barfield’s approach is based on delivering excellence and creating gentle landmarks.
Jacobs is one of the world’s largest and most diverse providers of technical professional and construction services. Over the years, Jacobs’ partnerships have helped the company develop an wide range of technical expertise to better serve a variety of clients in multiple industries.
Hollandia has built a reputation as a leader in offshore construction and other structural steel projects through its consistent track record regarding performance and expertise. Hollandia is active in a wide range of markets and segments such as offshore, petrochemicals, oil and gas, infrastructure, and high-rise buildings. In the UK Hollandia are best known for constructing the steel structures for the Gherkin (Swiss Rea building); the London Eye; and Wembley Stadium.
Poma is Europe’s leading cable car manufacturer. Based in France with more than 70 years of experience. Poma were responsible for constructing the 32 ‘capsules’ and drive system on the London Eye.
About JT Mackley
Sussex based construction firm who provide a comprehensive range of services and have a wealth of experience in costal construction projects. Brighton projects have included construction of the storm overflow sewer on Brighton Beach for Southern Water; reconstruction of the Brighton beach colonnades and carousel; coastal maintenance on Brighton beach from Shoreham Harbour to Rottingdean; strengthening works for Brighton Pier; strengthening works for the West Pier prior to the fire.
About Hemsley Orrell Partnership
Hemsley Orrell Partnership (HOP) is a multi-disciplinary practice of consulting civil and structural engineers at the forefront of high quality building and engineering projects on both a national and international level. HOP have particular specialisms in coastal projects and are based in Hove.